Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring outside by Allison Varzally

By Allison Varzally

What occurs in a society so assorted that no ethnic staff can name itself the bulk? Exploring a query that has profound relevance for the country as a complete, this learn seems heavily at eclectic neighborhoods in California the place a number of minorities constituted the bulk in the course of youth of the 20 th century. In a full of life account, woven all through with bright voices and reports drawn from interviews, ethnic newspapers, and memoirs, Allison Varzally examines daily interactions one of the Asian, Mexican, African, local, and Jewish american citizens, and others who lived part through facet. What she unearths is that during shared urban areas throughout California, those various teams combined and mingled as scholars, fans, worshippers, staff, and relations and, alongside the best way, improved and reconfigured ethnic and racial different types in new instructions.

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Additional info for Making a Non-White America: Californians Coloring outside Ethnic Lines, 1925-1955

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Sections of San Francisco and other metropolitan areas reproduced this same overlap of Asian ethnics. But enterprising Chinese also located themselves and their businesses in largely Mexican neighborhoods farther east. ] Map 2. S. Census data, 1940. Source: Courtesy of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. Earl Hansen and Paul Beckett, Los Angeles: Its Peoples and Its Homes (Los Angeles: Haynes Foundation, 1949), following p. 36. ] Map 3. S. Census data, 1940. Source: Courtesy of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation.

Although the early ethnoracial thinking of these varied migrants predisposed them to keep apart, their paths intersected within California, thanks to formal and informal restrictions. In other regions of the nation, living on the other side of the tracks often meant living in monoethnic ghettos. But in California those districts most segregated from Whites were often those most integrated with multiple minorities (see table 1). This physical reality made possible, if not inevitable, the interethnic mixings and mingling that ultimately broadened the systems of difference upon which migrants had first settled.

Almost one-third of Jews resided in Boyle Heights, with significant pockets in South Central and on Temple Street. Meanwhile, African Americans clustered around Central and Slauson streets, with smaller settlements in West Jefferson, Watts, and South Pasadena (see map 2). 37 Like their non-White peers, Japanese were shoehorned into neighborhoods near commercial and industrial sections of Los Angeles. Some Japanese established homes as distant from downtown as West Los Angeles and Hollywood, but Little Tokyo (adjacent to Central Avenue), the West Jefferson area, and Boyle Heights absorbed almost all others.

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