Friday, December 28, 2007 – Considering La Raza
La Raza can be literally translated as "The Race" – but a more accurate translation would be "the people" or "the community." If you share the cultural and political legacies of Spanish colonialism, including the Spanish language and culture, you know what it means. MEChA members refer to themselves as "La Raza" or "Raza" – that would be the "Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan." or "Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan" – the Hispanic separatist organization that encourages anti-American activities and civil disobedience (more here).
This Echo Park mural, on Morton Place, east of Morton Avenue, at the entrance to Elysian Park, explains itself – "This is dedicated to La Raza." But it has other dedications among the images – "Dedicated to the City of Los Angeles from Rampart Youth and El Centro del Pueblo" and "In Memory of Leonardo Diaz 5-27-73 9-23-94" and a few more. Think of La Raza – the "the people" or "the community" – in the broad sense. The mural was supervised by Diane M. Hernandez and Francisco Reyes, and the artists include Raymundo "Rocky" Avila, David and Rosa de la Riva, Diane Hernandez, Richard Torres, Rebecca Zamarripa, Monica Lutton, and Marina Ballesteros.
It spite of all the graffiti damage, it is a stunner.