Photo by Danny Fulgencio

A new book about the revitalization of America’s inner cities uses Oak Cliff as a case study of strong urban neighborhoods where immigrants held it down for decades.

A.K. Sandoval-Strauszis, author of Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City, is coming to our neighborhood this week. He’ll be at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center from 7-9 p.m. Friday.

The book mixes stories from the Park City neighborhood of Chicago and from Oak Cliff to show that Hispanics kept urban culture alive during the late 20th century, when Anglos moved to the suburbs in droves and developers made their money building shopping malls, abandoning neighborhoods like ours and drawing commercial businesses away from city centers.

We tracked this phenomenon back in 2017, with “The Immigrants Who Built the Block,” about Hispanic-owned businesses that kept Jefferson Boulevard vibrant following “white flight” and the construction of Red Bird Mall in the 1970s.