August 4, 2014. Article published by kcet.org.
The SGV is not only east of East L.A. — and a notable site of working and middle-class Chicana/o history — but also east of Little Tokyo, east of Chinatown, and an ancestral home of the indigenous Gabrielino/Tongva people. Today it is the largest majority Latina/o and Asian American region in the U.S. (approximately 45% Latina/o, and 28% Asian, as of 2010 3). Its contemporary reality has been shaped by layered histories of indigenous settlement; conquest and colonization; exploitation of land, labor, and resources through large landholding regimes; regional economies; suburbanization; and transpacific circuits of immigration and capital.
As SGV scholar Gilda Ochoa has pointed out, the history of the area, as throughout the Southwestern U.S., is “one of conquest, labor, exploitation, racism, and discrimination.” 4
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