Focus Too Narrow
The LABJ's Dec. 8 story "Koreatown's Big Expansion" prompts me to ask: So what are we? Chopped liver?
LABJ picks a pretty big piece of turf to label "New Koreatown" on its multicolored page one map. If one were to believe the illustration, the Wilshire Country Club might think about renaming itself, likewise Wilshire Center, Hancock Park, Mid-Cities, Larchmont Village and half a dozen other vibrant neighborhoods painted in a very broad brush by your newspaper.
Kudos on your research and insight, but the point that your reporter and USC "Korean American expert" Kay Kyung-Sook Song seem to miss is that Koreatown is but a frame of mind expressed by a small, albeit important minority of our community.
Koreatown is but one of many overlays that define the area. Loyola High School or Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Church or C & K; (Greek) Importing might be surprised to find themselves included under the LABJ umbrella of Koreatown, as might the 80 percent majority of the people living and working in this area who are not Korean.
The LABJ labeling the area defined by Santa Monica Boulevard, Washington Boulevard, La Brea Avenue and Hoover Street as Koreatown ignores the many layers of people, economic activity, history and diversity that make up the area.
As a Korean American who has lived and worked in the area for the past 20 years and as an adjunct professor of Asian American Studies at Cal State Northridge, I am embarrassed that the LABJ did not choose to recognize the broad spectrum of diversity in the area rather than focusing on a single band.
H. COOKE SUNOO
Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.