Sunday, April 18, 2010

Not Surprisingly, Things Are Pretty Much the Same

On Saturday, I was online on amazon when I decided to watch a movie on demand. I wasn't sure of what I wanted to watch, but I was in the mood to watch an “inspirational” movie. So I made a list of movies that I had heard about and that I had already seen; Stand and Deliver (1988) was one of them. I decided to watch this movie because it had been a while since I had last seen it, and I knew the story line which revolved around a math teacher in East Los Angeles' Garfield High School, who motivated his students to succeed in school. The movie portrays the harsh realities of the neighborhoods and the public schools of East L.A. such as the poverty and lack of educational resources. As I watched the movie, I remembered the book “Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon” (that I read for my book review) were the writer Eduardo Obregón Pagán describes the conditions of the working-class Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles in the 1940s. The negative images that were attributed to Latino neighborhoods and youth during this time, were depicted in Stand and Deliver which took place during the 1980s. Moreover, the film reminded me of Garcia's colonias which were predominantly occupied by working-class Mexican immigrants and Mexican American youths. In Stand and Deliver, “Murder at the Sleepy Lagoon,” and “The Colonia Complex Revisited,” the neighborhoods are segregated based on class and race and even though years have passed, today this is practically the same. I found a “Neighborhoods” section in the L.A. Times where you can learn detailed information regarding the 114 L.A. neighborhoods that they have on a list, and not surprisingly those on the East part of L.A. are still predominantly Latino and working-class, while those on the West side are white, upper-class neighborhoods with college-educated residents.

L.A. Times “Neighborhoods” section:

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