This paper traces the short Los Angeles byway once known as Calle de los negros (later known as Negro Alley or Nigger Alley, briefly as an extension of Arcadia Street, later still as a frontage section of North Los Angeles Street), its changing human and spatial geography, and its eventual erasure, to uncover the historical processes of bringing social and spatial order to a zone considered disorderly from 1855 to 1951.
Lost in Translation: From Calle de los Negros to Nigger Alley to North Los Angeles Street to Place Erasure, Los Angeles 1855––1951
César López is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at San Diego Mesa College. His dissertation is entitled “El Descanso: A Comparative History of the Los Angeles Plaza Area and the Shared Racialized Space of the Mexican and Chinese Communities, 1853-1933.” His current research projects focus on oral histories of merchants on Olvera Street at El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and the history of Chicana/o campus activism at the University of Southern California during the 1990s.
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Céésar Lóópez; Lost in Translation: From Calle de los Negros to Nigger Alley to North Los Angeles Street to Place Erasure, Los Angeles 1855––1951. Southern California Quarterly 19 March 2012; 94 (1): 25–90. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2012.94.1.25
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