South Central Los Angeles is an irregularly-shaped, 16-square-mile rectangle bordered, roughly, by West Jefferson Boulevard on the north, Harbor Freeway (Highway 110) on the east, West Imperial Highway on the south, and South Van Ness Avenue on the west. The Santa Monica Freeway (Highway 10), the San Diego Freeway (Highway 405), and the Century Freeway (Highway 105) are also nearby. The Metro Blue Line connects the neighborhood to downtown.
The Los Angeles City Council officially renamed the neighborhood “South Los Angeles” in 2003, but many people still call it “South Central.”
Landmarks include the University of Southern California, home of the USC Trojans, the Shrine Auditorium, site of many televised award shows, the L.A. Coliseum, third oldest baseball stadium in the country, and the Museum of Natural History, which has many interesting exhibits including a new Dinosaur Hall.
USC funds a wide variety of services through its “Good Neighbors Campaign.” Neighborhood kids and families can enjoy activities such as swimming classes, jazz classes, tutoring, summer camp, and farmers’ markets.
Leimart Park Village, a neighborhood within South Central, is a hub for artists and musicians. It’s been called “the Black Greenwich Village.” The art deco buildings are filled with the sounds of jazz, a drum circle gathers every Sunday, and the area’s many coffee houses are popular spots to mingle. Ray Charles lived there in the 1960s. Special annual events include the African art and music festival, the Juneteenth festival, the Taste of Soul festival (the largest street fair in L.A.), and the book fair, where Oscar winner Lou Gossett Jr. was a recent featured guest.