By Mario Torero, Brent Beltrán, and Bill Adams / UrbDeZine
Barrio Logan is little known to most San Diegans – beyond being a predominantly Mexican-American neighborhood near downtown. Yet it is one of San Diego’s most historically significant and culturally important neighborhoods.
In particular, it has national prominence for its role in the Chicano / Mexican-American civil rights movement. However, more than a Chicano historic asset, the neighborhood and it’s history stands as a monument to the resilience and survival of the nation’s minority and working class populations in the face of assaults and exploitation by the overwhelming power of the state and business interests.
In particular, many ethnic working-class urban neighborhoods across the country were destroyed or severely damaged by en masse relocation of their residents to build freeways and other neighborhood-destroying and suburb serving facilities. Barrio Logan repeatedly faced such assaults, and not only survived but like putting a bouquet of flowers in a tank cannon, sometimes made beauty and purpose out of injury. Nevertheless, once the second largest Mexican-American enclave in the U.S., it has shrunk to less than 5,000 people as a result of the loss of land to the freeways and industrial uses. It may not survive another such assault. [Read more…]