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 larger la, Matt Garcia explores the social and cultural forces that helped make town the expansive and varied city that it truly is this present day. because the citrus-growing areas of the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys in jap la County accelerated in the course of the early 20th century, the rural there built alongside segregated traces, basically among white landowners and Mexican and Asian employees. at first, those groups have been sharply divided. yet la, in contrast to different agricultural areas, observed very important possibilities for intercultural trade improve round the arts and inside of multiethnic neighborhood teams. even if fostered in such casual settings as dance halls and theaters or in such formal businesses because the Intercultural Council of Claremont or the Southern California team spirit Leagues, those interethnic encounters shaped the root for political cooperation to deal with exertions discrimination and remedy difficulties of residential and academic segregation. although intercultural collaborations weren't continuously winning, Garcia argues that they represent an incredible bankruptcy not just in Southern California's social and cultural improvement but in addition within the better heritage of yankee race relatives.

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

Sample text

In 1913, ranchers received almost $40 million in return on their investment, paying out approximately one-third of this total in transportation cost. 6 million. As a point of comparison, the area’s combined manufacturing wages earned in the movies, oil, and aircraft industries totaled $196 million. Moreover, land under citrus cultivation in Southern California increased from 83,600 acres in 1903 to more than 329,700 in 1944. Although the initial investment required a substantial amount of money and patience (trees did not bear fruit of marketable quality until five years after planting), the payoff was potentially very high.

Educated and upwardly mobile, Cande used his talents in the service of his community and has continued to defend the civil rights of Mexican and Latin American immigrants to the present. Occasionally, Mexican American challenges to discrimination and segregation evoked a political response from white, upper middle-class citizens who sought to remedy the ‘‘Mexican problem’’ in their own ‘‘progressive’’ way. 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.

Among oranges, Valencias and Washington navels occupied different places in the citrus belt. Since Valencias possessed seeds and were used primarily for juice, farmers cared more about their quantity than quality. Consequently, ranchers grew Valencias near coastal ranges and further down the inland valleys. In the interior, a combination of dry desert breezes, low atmospheric moisture, and the threat of high-elevation frost produced oranges of higher sugar content with a deep reddish-orange hue.

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