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The fourth chapter of the original digital docu-series Growing Up Black  premieres on VH1 YouTube Thursday, June 24 at 1 p.m., throwing its spotlight on Los Angeles, with first hand accounts of what it’s like growing up Black in South Central L.A., highlighting the cities of Compton, Crenshaw and Inglewood among others. 

The episode will showcase the level of diversity, culture, talent and Black entrepreneurship that stems from the city as well as the L.A. gang culture, decriminalization of marijuana and history of protests, from the 1992 riots to the 2020 George Floyd protests.

In addition to interviews with Compton Mayor Aja Brown and Ball Family Farms owners Chris and Charles Ball, 40 Love chef Kayla Greer will talk about how she never had to fake the funk to become successful.

Chef Kayla Greer (Michele Stueven)

“I feel this show is so important in today’s culture because many people only have a one-sided perception of what Los Angeles is about, but will never truly experience it,” Greer tells L.A. Weekly. “The people we have representing Los Angeles in mainstream media aren’t L.A. natives and it’s nice to have someone who can tell their side of the story. L.A. natives have a known saying ‘we grew here, you flew here,’ that means a lot to us. You have to have tough skin growing up in L.A., starting as early as elementary school. That’s something deeply embedded in us. Everyone wants to move to L.A., we are the culture. Starting from food (eating healthy) to music, film. Marijuana and fashion – we set the tone and the culture follows.”

The L.A. Trade Technical College culinary graduate says that what makes South Central, Compton and Inglewood great is the diversity of talent, from creatives and athletes to artists, musicians and dancers. 

“Growing up one minute you’ll be in the hood and on the next block it’s all multi-million dollar houses that our great grandparents owned and passed down from generation to generation. The girls aren’t just cute but smart, and we’re go-getters. Growing up Black in any of those neighborhoods was fun, to say the least. I couldn’t see myself from anywhere else. If you make it here you can make it anywhere.” 

 

 

 

LA Weekly