Exploring Compton's Agricultural Neighborhood, Richland Farms

Departures is KCET's oral history and interactive documentary project that thoroughly explores neighborhoods through the people that live there. So far, Venice, Chinatown, the L.A. River (a new version of it will launch soon) and Richland Farms in Compton have been extensively profiled.

Each Departures series could take weeks, if not months to experience. That's why here at SoCal Focus, we will take you through each neighborhood, one day at a time, starting with Richland Farms.

The above video, which was produced by Environmental Charter High School students involved in Departures' digital literacy program, gives a great overview of the exciting project that dives into what the news doesn't tell us about Compton: the people, the families, and the life in and around the agricultural pocket of Richland Farms.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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It's certainly nice to see a positive story coming out of Compton, the city which I currently reside in. It is good that people get to see some of the good and positive things that go on here to counteract the negative stereotypes that people have of this wonderful city.

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I was born in Compton and lived the first 25 years of my life in Richland Farms. I remember how much I loved living there. Everyone had some kind of animals. We had chickens and many of our neighbors had horses and dairy cows. I learned to ride and milk a cow when I was just a kid. Everyone knew one another and all the kids played together. We had a big piece of property and we played baseball in my front yard. The neighbor down the street had a big grassy front lawn. We played touch football in his front yard. We lived on the north side of Raymond street. There used to be an equstrian club that met at one of the neighbors who had about 3 acres. They raised Arabian and Quarter horses. There were always horses in Richland farms and most everyone had one. I still consider Compton my home town although I left in 1971. I have very fond memories of growing up there. It is where I learned to play the flute and where I had the wonderful opportunity to become a musician. They had a fine orchestra and a youth orchestra of which I was a charter member. It's so sad to see that all that was wonderful about Compton has disappeared forever. I'm glad that the sense of community still exists in Richland Farms as one of my childhood friends still lives there on Raymond street in the very same house in which she grew up.