Barrio-Logos: Space and Place in Urban Chicano Literature by Raúl Homero Villa

By Raúl Homero Villa

Struggles over area and resistance to geographic displacement gave upward push to a lot of Chicano background and tradition. during this pathfinding booklet, Ra?l Villa explores how California Chicano/a writers, newshounds, artists, activists, and musicians have used expressive tradition to oppose the community-destroying forces of city renewal courses and large highway improvement and to create and safeguard a feeling of Chicano place-identity. Villa opens with a ancient evaluate that indicates how Chicano groups and tradition have constructed in accordance with conflicts over house ever because the usa' annexation of Mexican territory within the 1840s. Then, turning to the paintings of latest contributors of the Chicano intelligentsia similar to poet Lorna Dee Cervantes, novelist Ron Arias, and the paintings collective RCAF (Rebel Chicano artwork Front), Villa demonstrates how their expressive practices re-imagine and re-create the dominant city house as a group allowing position. In doing so, he illuminates the never-ending interaction during which cultural texts and practices are formed through and act upon their social and political contexts.

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Additional info for Barrio-Logos: Space and Place in Urban Chicano Literature and Culture (CMAS History, Culture, and Society Series)

Example text

Within three years of its formation, over 2 million pieces of literature promoting the personal and economic benefits of the region had been distributed throughout the United States (McWilliams 1976 : 129). In the process, the Chamber of Commerce set the standard for the wedding of urban development and promotional ‘‘imaging’’ that, in various forms, continues to characterize the peculiar fetishism and ‘‘imagineering’’ (in Disneyspeak) of the commodity known as ‘‘Los Angeles’’ (see Fig. 9). Through its highly successful advertising efforts and development, the Times-led growth coalition—whose leadership passed in succession from Otis in the 1890s to his son-in-law Harry Chandler in the 1920s—willed modern Los Angeles into being.

Writing about the concurrent formation of the barrio in downtown Sacramento, but Creative Destruction 41 again resonating with processes in Los Angeles and other California cities, Ernesto Galarza describes precisely the ‘‘laissez-faire’’ attitude of the dominant culture toward the mundane exercises of culture within the ‘‘private’’ sanctum of the barrio: ‘‘There was no place in the public business of the city of Sacramento for the Mexican immigrants. We only rented a corner of the city and as long as we paid the rent on time everything else was decided at City Hall or the County Court House, where Mexicans went only when they were in trouble’’ (1971 : 206).

As the land-use patterns and built environment of the mexicano cultural landscape were being erased or marginalized from view during this initial period of Anglo-dominant urbanization, critical observations of these devastating processes began to appear in the Spanish-language press. L A RAZA RESPONDE Spanish-Language Press and the Discursive Space of Ethnicity Editors of this era interrogated the symbolic cultural implications and practical infrastructural consequences of the Anglo-urban makeover.

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