Community Resistance and Conditional Patriotism in Cold War Los Angeles: The Battle for Chavez Ravine

This article examines the resistance to displacement of residents of Chavez Ravine, Los Angeles, a community slated to be razed for a public housing project in the post-war era (1950–1953). Community women, mostly Mexican American, overtly identified themselves as patriotic wives and daughters of veterans who were entitled to keep their homes and live in peace. They declared that their patriotism was conditional, and that the seizure of their homes and destruction of their community threatened the basis of their patriotism; displacement, they suggested, might radicalize them. While their efforts to preserve the Chavez Ravine community were unsuccessful, they influenced local politics and became a lasting symbol of Chicano displacement and resistance.