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La Nueva California

La Nueva California: Latinos in the Golden State

David E. Hayes-Bautista
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Pages: 286
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  • Book Info
    La Nueva California
    Book Description:

    Since late 2001 more than fifty percent of the babies born in California have been Latino. When these babies reach adulthood, they will, by sheer force of numbers, influence the course of the Golden State. This essential study, based on decades of data, paints a vivid and energetic portrait of Latino society in California by providing a wealth of details about work ethic, family strengths, business establishments, and the surprisingly robust health profile that yields an average life expectancy for Latinos five years longer than that of the general population. Spanning one hundred years, this complex, fascinating analysis suggests that the future of Latinos in California will be neither complete assimilation nor unyielding separatism. Instead, the development of a distinctive regional identity will be based on Latino definitions of what it means to be American.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93788-8
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
    (pp. xv-xx)
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-13)

    The narrative of this book begins in 1940, when Latinos were a small minority and lacked political representation or public voice in California (see Figure 1). The Spanish language itself appeared to be on the verge of extinction in the state. Certainly schoolteachers prohibited the speaking of Spanish, even in the rigidly segregated “Mexican schools” to which Latino students were routinely assigned even if they knew how to speak English. Latino daily life was marked by a number of indignities, including housing covenants, which restricted their house occupancy to a few segregated areas; widespread employment discrimination, which defined the types...

  7. ONE America Defines Latinos: 1940–1965
    (pp. 14-37)

    In the summer of 1998, the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at UCLA convened a number of middle-aged Latinos to help us understand the changes that have taken place in Latino society in California during their lives. Born in the 1940s and 1950s, these participants grew up in a world far different from the one they lived in by the late 1990s. They were old enough to remember a much more segregated, much more rigidly exclusionary society. Still expressing hurt and pain, they described growing up in a situation in which being Latino was simply not...

  8. TWO Latinos Reject America’s Definition: 1965–1975
    (pp. 38-57)

    During the tempestuous 1960s, various groups sought a more significant place in American policymaking than they had previously occupied: the African American civil rights movement, the anti–Vietnam War movement, the women’s movement, the first wave of the gay and lesbian movement, the American Indian movement, the disabled … the list of aggrieved groups seeking public redress seemed to go on and on. Among the new currents of political activism of the time, Chicano Power, too, registered on the public consciousness albeit feebly. While this Latino movement was only one of many competing for attention in those heady days when...

  9. THREE Washington Defines a Minority: 1965–1975
    (pp. 58-88)

    During the period of the “long hot summers” from 1966 to 1969, every major American city—from the South Bronx to Newark, from Southside Chicago to Philadelphia—seemed ready to explode, just as the Watts area of Los Angeles had two years before. Leather-jacketed advocates of Black Power strode through the charred inner cities, denouncing America’s treatment of African Americans and demanding that something be done. In guilty response to the anger, programs flooded out of Washington to quench the burning urban cores. A minority group had found its voice, and the federal government had responded. Other groups—women, gays...

  10. FOUR Latinos Define Latinos: 1975–1990
    (pp. 89-117)

    From 1940 to 1965, Atlantic America defined nearly every aspect of Latino existence, from race classification, to language usage and access to residential areas, educational opportunities, and career options. From 1965 to 1975, activist Latinos of the Chicano generation rejected those definitions, but institutional America paid little heed. In fact, from its Washington DC headquarters, official America stamped Latinos anew, this time as an underclass minority, a definition still used in the early twenty-first century. But between 1975 and 1990, a new sort of definition began to take shape: Latinos began to define Latinos. The return of immigrant Latinos provided...

  11. FIVE Times of Crisis: Proposition 187 and After, 1900–2000
    (pp. 118-147)

    Every wave of urban turmoil to hit the country during the late 1960s swept more and more whites out of urban areas, leaving behind an increasingly African American population to become the urban majority in most U.S. cities. But this urban population, too, experienced change shortly after that, in black middle-class flight from the urban cores. By 1990, much of the black middle class also had fled the declining urban core, taking with them their capital, skills, and businesses. In many American cities, such as Detroit and Newark, the fleeing black middle class found no buyers for their properties and...

  12. SIX Latinos Define “American”: 2000–2020
    (pp. 148-176)

    Ever since the emotional campaign waged in 1994 to pass Proposition 187, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) attorneys had been hearing a low-level drumbeat, the sound of a negative public perception of Latinos. They overheard comments, made in various meetings and functions, reflecting the feeling that it must be true, as had been depicted in the television ads, that most Latinos were undocumented immigrants, that immigration from Mexico and Latin America was ruining the state, and that Latinos refused to become part of American society. MALDEF attorneys were astounded by the residual ill-will still expressed in many...

  13. SEVEN Creating a Regional American Identity: 2020–2040
    (pp. 177-207)

    A senior reporter from a large east coast newspaper decided that for one of his last professional columns before retiring, he wanted to write about something that was new to him: Latinos. He traveled to Los Angeles, to the epicenter of Latino population growth, to embark on a series of interviews with a variety of Latinos. He arranged to have breakfast with me to provide himself with some background before getting started in LA. During our breakfast at a glitzy Westwood restaurant noted for its popularity in the movie business, the reporter kept prodding me to define myself: Was I...

  14. EIGHT Best-Case and Worst-Case Scenarios: California 2040
    (pp. 208-228)

    In my 1988 book,The Burden of Support, after dragging the reader through some rather data-thick demographic projections, I described two purposefully extreme scenarios as polar possibilities for the California of 2030. The “Worst-Case Scenario” (D. Hayes-Bautista, Schink, and Chapa 1988, 1–10) presented a vividBlade Runner-like dystopia, in which the half of the state that was Latino had been bludgeoned into a permanent underclass by the economic demands of a pampered, retired non-Hispanic white baby-boom population who lived protected by gated communities and laws that outlawed “un-American” cultural activities. Chillingly, as California stumbled through the 1990s of recession,...

    (pp. 229-246)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 247-263)