Download A World of Its Own: Race, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of by Matt Garcia PDF

By Matt Garcia

Tracing the heritage of intercultural fight and cooperation within the citrus belt of higher la, Matt Garcia explores the social and cultural forces that helped make town the expansive and assorted city that it's this day. because the citrus-growing areas of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in jap l. a. County extended in the course of the early 20th century, the rural there built alongside segregated traces, basically among white landowners and Mexican and Asian workers. at the beginning, those groups have been sharply divided. yet l. a., not like different agricultural areas, observed very important possibilities for intercultural trade boost round the arts and inside of multiethnic group teams. even if fostered in such casual settings as dance halls and theaters or in such formal organisations because the Intercultural Council of Claremont or the Southern California harmony Leagues, those interethnic encounters shaped the root for political cooperation to deal with exertions discrimination and clear up difficulties of residential and academic segregation. notwithstanding intercultural collaborations weren't continuously profitable, Garcia argues that they represent a major bankruptcy not just in Southern California's social and cultural improvement but additionally within the better background of yankee race kinfolk.

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Extra resources for A World of Its Own: Race, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900-1970

Sample text

37 Uniting agriculture with technology to build better communities constituted an important organizing principal for city planners and investors in Southern California at the turn of the century. By World War I, communities throughout the citrus belt—from Pasadena, to Ontario, to Riverside and Redlands— enjoyed a higher standard of living than most Americans. Yet, citrus belt residents measured success not merely by the size of their bank accounts, but also by the predominance of luxuries and benefits not typically afforded to farming communities.

Although the term progressivism possesses many meanings, here it refers to the sympathetic, though often misguided, actions of white philanthropists and Americanization officials who invested their time and money to improve working and living conditions for Mexican Americans in Southern California. Inspired as much by a desire to project a compassionate self-image as by altruism, reformers constituted an ‘‘in-between element’’ that tried to mediate disputes among Mexican workers, citrus belt growers, and local and state governments.

I was less prepared, however, to learn of the many years he spent as the Spanish-speaking disc jockey for a local radio station; of his short stint as a performer at Padua Hills Theatre; of his athletic talents as a baseball player in the semiprofessional California Pacific Clay League; and of his long and colorful career as the emcee and music consultant for the Pomona dance hall, Rainbow Gardens. Although I initially approached Cande to find the roots of an organized and politicized Mexican American community in the citrus belt, my interviews with him taught me valuable lessons about the need to avoid compartmentalizing peoples’ lives into rigid categories.

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