How do you identify the hood?
Check cashing businesses, liquor stores, store-front churches, local police precinct, fast food restaurants i.e., Church's Chicken, and federal housing (projects). Those who express urban living will see these establishments in the neighborhood. The hood is not to be exclusively confused with the ghetto because a person can be hood but not ghetto. The ghetto is an impoverished or otherwise disadvantaged residential area of a city, usually troubled by a disproportionately large amount of crime. Not all hoods and ghettoes have public housing projects.
Baldwin Village a section in Los Angeles bounded by Coliseum Street and La Brea Avenue is considered part of the Crenshaw District is the hood with crime but no projects like the cities of Watts and Compton. Baldwin Village appeared in the 2001 film Training Day as gang controlled and crime infested neighborhood.
Describing a person as 'hood" can be a positive compliment but describing someone as ghetto is usually derogatory. Many people that are "hood" from Compton, LA, Harlem, NY, Chicago westside, can be successful, classy individuals who not only survived the perils of the inner city but love their hometown and have a desire to make it better for everyone there. Whereas people described as ghetto came from places like West Baltimore a huge section of the city notorious for violent and other drug-related crime, and East Harlem, which became home to a large minority contingency usually considered poor, and trashy. Back in the day, many "ghetto" people were classified as projects dwellers. The projects were not economical curses to its residencies because much success came out of the ghettoes and hoods regardless of education. Look at me from Avalon Gardens projects in South Central LA.
The Sweet Auburn Historic District in Atlanta is a historic African American neighbor-(hood) along and surrounding Auburn Avenue, east of downtown Atlanta, Georgia, is the hood that produced the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. So good can come from the hood.
Hoodgood means those who propelled themselves to wealth, making it from nothing when others were sure they would fail. Man that boy (Jay Z) rich rich now, I remember he was in the projects with nothing; that's hoodgood. As mentioned I came from the hood of South Central LA a section called Green meadows where Watts and Compton were the neighboring cities also Southside Peoria, IL. I consider myself hoodgood being I established a career resume and not a police record as a career criminal.