Boyle Heights: How a Los Angeles Neighborhood Became the Future of American Democracy

Posted on Wed., May 19, 2021

Join us as George J. Sanchez, Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity at USC, discusses his book on the neighborhood of Boyle Heights with four USC doctoral students.

Boyle Heights is an in-depth history of the Los Angeles neighborhood, showcasing the potent experiences of its residents, from early contact between Spanish colonizers and native Californians to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the hunt for hidden Communists among the Jewish population, negotiating citizenship and belonging among Latino migrants and Mexican American residents, and beyond. Through each period and every struggle, the residents of Boyle Heights have maintained remarkable solidarity across racial and ethnic lines, acting as a unified polyglot community even as their tribulations have become more explicitly racial in nature. Boyle Heights is immigrant-America embodied, and it can serve as the true beacon on a hill toward which the country can strive in a time when racial solidarity and civic resistance have never been in greater need.

Featured doctoral students:
Julia Brown-Bernstein, History
Rachel Klein, American Studies & Ethnicity
Cassandra Flores-Montano, American Studies & Ethnicity
Kathy Pulupa, American Studies & Ethnicity

The program is presented by the Huntington–USC Institute on California and the West.

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