How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Interesting link: Ruben Salazar's final piece, published Aug. 28, 1970

Photo courtesy of cindylu/Flickr (Creative Commons)


An old interior shot of the Silver Dollar Cafe, where Salazar was fatally struck, taken from a UCLA collection


As part of a series of tweets related to slain journalist Ruben Salazar, killed August 29, 1970 while covering a violent Vietnam War protest in East Los Angeles, @LAHistory has posted a link on Twitter to the last piece he wrote. It was published the day before a stray tear gas canister fired by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy flew into the bar where Salazar was taking a breather from the riot, fatally striking him in the head.

The piece, titled "The Mexican-Americans NEDA Much Better School System," is critical of then-vice president Spiro Agnew's announcement of a new national organization called the National Economic Development Association, or NEDA, to promote business development opportunities among Latinos. In the piece, Salazar made the point that educational opportunities were more sorely needed:

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Honoring Zorba, el Mexicano

quinn

Photo by Teamperks/Flickr (Creative Commons)


Mural depicting Anthony Quinn, as Zorba, on the old Victor Clothing Company building downtown, 2008


It looks like I'm on a movie kick today, so here's another film-related post: I loved a short piece that I read today on LA Beez on efforts to restore a downtown mural that depicts Hollywood's best-known Greek as played by a Mexican, the late actor Anthony Quinn.

The mural is known as "The Pope of Broadway," painted in 1984 by artist Eloy Torrez. Money is being raised to restore the fading artwork, which faces 3rd Street on the south side of the Victor Clothing Company building, now residential lofts. A non-profit group hopes to involve at-risk youths in the restoration as part of an educational project. It's a gorgeous mural, even in its faded state, one that speaks to both the Los Angeles of immigrants and the Los Angeles of film lore.

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