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

By Matt Garcia

Tracing the historical past of intercultural fight and cooperation within the citrus belt of better l. a., Matt Garcia explores the social and cultural forces that helped make the town the expansive and different city that it's this present day. because the citrus-growing areas of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in japanese la County improved in the course of the early 20th century, the rural there constructed alongside segregated traces, essentially among white landowners and Mexican and Asian workers. in the beginning, those groups have been sharply divided. yet la, in contrast to different agricultural areas, observed very important possibilities for intercultural alternate strengthen round the arts and inside of multiethnic neighborhood teams. no matter if fostered in such casual settings as dance halls and theaters or in such formal agencies because the Intercultural Council of Claremont or the Southern California team spirit Leagues, those interethnic encounters shaped the foundation for political cooperation to handle exertions discrimination and remedy difficulties of residential and academic segregation. notwithstanding intercultural collaborations weren't regularly profitable, Garcia argues that they represent an incredible bankruptcy not just in Southern California's social and cultural improvement but additionally within the higher background of yankee race family.

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

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18 Employing traditional and cultural politics, Mexican Americans of the citrus belt overcame labor exploitation, segregation, and racism to participate in the creation of Greater Los Angeles. Part I of A World of Its Own examines the physical and cultural formation of the citrus suburbs of Los Angeles and explores the Eurocentric and often racist underpinnings of this society. Chapter 1, entitled ‘‘The Ideal Country Life: The Development of Citrus Suburbs in Southern California,’’ demonstrates the influence of Thomas Jefferson’s agrarian ideal on the creation of the citrus belt and examines how white midwestern and eastern immigrants attempted to merge the best of farm life with the modern conveniences of urban life.

An educator and civil rights leader in the Pomona Valley, ‘‘Cande’’ stood out as a vital narrator whose wellspring of knowledge I began to tap during my years as a graduate student at The Claremont Graduate School. In beginning our relationship, I fully expected to uncover the many rich stories of his involvement with the bilingual newspaper owner/editor Ignacio López; of his participation in the formation of a civil rights movement in Pomona; of his experience as the last president of the ymca-sponsored Mexican American Movement; and of his long career as one of the first Mexican American school teachers and administrators in Southern California.

Often, these ‘‘colonies’’ coalesced around the cultural and/or religious backgrounds of settlers. For example, in 1873, D. M. Berry of Indianapolis organized fifty families from his home state into the Indiana Colony of California. This group constituted the original members of the San Gabriel Orange Grove Association that founded Pasadena. Further east, members of the Church of the Brethren founded the town of Lordsburg (renamed La Verne), and Mormon missionaries organized the colony that became San Bernardino.

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