The Chavez Ravine and The Los Angeles Dodgers

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The Dodgers and the Hispanic Community in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Dodgers, having participated in the World Series in 2017 for the first time since 1988 are undoubtedly in the peak of their performance. In fact, many fans have pledged the allegiances to the team without the knowledge of the team and its genesis. Los Angeles County is about 49% Hispanic; this shows that most of the spectators of the team are naturally Hispanic descent. Apparently, being a baseball fan and particularly cheering Dodger is part of Hispanic experience in Los Angeles, but that was not the case some years back as the team had to engage in a rocky fight to find their place in the Hispanic community. Chavez Ravine is a name after Julian Chavez, one of the earliest Los Angeles supervisors in the 1800s. Chavez forcefully acquired the land in the early 19th

The Displacement of the Mexican-American Community

century from the its natives, Mexican-American community, who occupied the land that is today’s stadium for the Dodgers.

The History of Chavez Ravine

The area was famously known as “the Poor Man’s Shangri La” and it comprised of the neighborhoods, Bishop, Palo Verde, and La Loma. The Chavez Ravine history is a painful story for the Hispanics considering the ruthless displacement of the pre-occupants of the land, the Mexican-American Community. Today, Chavez Ravine is a “site of displacement” for the Hispanics because after the World War II, the city violently removed the Mexican-American community from the land for the purposes of constructing public house. The project was however, canceled when the Brooklyn Dodgers managed to seal a deal for the land that had accommodated more than 1,100 families. Those who rejected the pennies offered by the county were inhumanly and forcefully driven out of their lands.

Deception and Injustice in Housing

The city used its eminent domain to acquire properties from the residents for nearly half the real value of those properties. They were promised a better housing once the project was complete. However, the problem emerged after accepting the little fortunes as most families realized that they could no use the payments to secure descent homes anywhere in the town. Most of the families ended up as squatters, others went for apartments, while others had to seek refuge from the relatives. The people of Chavez Ravine had lost everything for peanuts from the sheriff’s department.

Social Injustice and Economic Vitality

The failure of the Los Angeles county to provide the displaced with adequate housing raised the issue of social injustice that the county had done to its people. It is clear that the city did not recognize its moral obligation to house the displaced. The community was thus placed in an economic vitality situation whereby, most of them had to go for many unskilled jobs far from even the low-income earning pool. Due to the low-wages, the cadre workers could not afford surviving in metropolitan areas. Following the decentralization of the county’s revitalization and economic prowess, the Chavez Ravine became totally unknown to many and they were thrown in fallen parts of Los Angeles.

The Long-lasting Impact

In as much as the Mexican-American families may seem to be settled and having peace of mind, the area within which the Dodgers stadium is situated still serves sense of home for the pre-occupants of the land more than fifty years ago. The Los Angeles city is still held responsible for the policies that had impeccable changes in the lives of the residents of Chavez Ravine.

September 25, 2023


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