Race, Displacement, and Sonic Reclamation in Postwar Los Angeles
This chapter examines one of the few modes of social entitlement available to Black and Brown communities in Los Angeles during the postwar period: a spatial entitlement. Spatial entitlement refers to the spatial strategies and vernaculars utilized by working-class youth to resist the increasing demarcations of race and class that emerged in the postwar era in the wake of the growth of privatized redevelopment and attacks on progressive unionism and popular front political culture. This chapter discusses the importance of strategies deployed in the service of spatial entitlement not only in the reclamation of social and symbolic space but also as the discursive fabric that created both moments and movements in which African Americans and Mexican Americans exposed power imbalances, sought recognition, and forged solidarities. It considers how the massive urban development and displacement that affected people of color in Los Angeles in the postwar years became intertwined with their desire and need for spatial entitlement. It also explores the cultural exchange, what it calls the “diasporic overlap,” between African Americans and Mexican Americans as seen in music.
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