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

By Gaye Theresa Johnson | Go to book overview

Conclusion
In This Great Future …

The tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a night-
mare on the brain of the living. And just when they seem
engaged in revolutionising themselves and things, in creat-
ing something entirely new … they anxiously conjure up
the spirits of the past to their service and borrow from them
names, battle slogans and costumes in order to present the
new scene of world history in this time-honoured disguise
and this borrowed language … [the revolutionary] … has
assimilated the spirit of the new … [but] can produce freely
in it only when he moves in it without remembering the old
and forgets in it his ancestral tongue.
—Karl Marx1

Yes me friend … them say we free again
The bars could not hold me, force could not control me now
They try to keep me down, but Jah want I around.
Yes I’ve been accused many a time, and wrongly abused now
But through the powers of the most high, they’ve got to turn
me loose …
So if you are bullbucker, let me tell you this: I’m a duppy
conqueror …
—Bob Marley2

The history of struggles shared by Black and Brown people in Tos Angeles from World War II to the present is a history of shared spaces and shared sounds. Although often resource-poor, African Americans and Mexican Americans were network-rich. They turned the segregation of the ghetto and the barrio into political and cultural congregation.

-193-

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