Spaces of Conflict, Sounds of Solidarity: Music, Race, and Spatial Entitlement in Los Angeles

By Gaye Theresa Johnson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Cold Wars and Counter WAR(s)
Coalitional Politics in an Age of Violence

Between 1945 and 1970, virtually the entire colonial world
demanded and secured political independence; within the space
of five years over one and a half billion people in more than
100 national capitals, all colonized, became free. Suddenly,
liberation was a more significant force than domination.

—Michael Manley1

As brothers in the fight for equality, I extend the hand of
fellowship and goodwill … to you and your members. Our
separate struggles are really one—a struggle for freedom, for
dignity and for humanity.
—Martin Luther King, in a telegram to Cesar Chávez2

Place-making is a way of constructing history itself, of invent-
ing it, of fashioning novel versions of “what happened.” For
every developed place-world manifests itself as a possible
state of affairs, and whenever these constructions are ac-
cepted by other people as credible and convincing … they
enrich the common stock on which everyone can draw to
muse on past events, interpret their significance, and imagine
them anew.

—Keith H. Basso3

Sonic expressions of spatial entitlement constitute some of the most eloquent articulations of the right to space. Sounds have shared meanings that are informed by and give inspiration to the social, political, and economic power relations experienced by their producers. In the 1960s and 1970s in Los Angeles, these relations were rapidly changing

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