Latinos: The LA Times' 1983 Pulitzer Prize Winning Series Now Available

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tags: Los Angeles, journalism, Latino/a history

In the summer of 1983, The Times published a series on Southern California’s Latino community. It was produced by a team of Latino editors, writers and photographers. The idea was to move beyond stereotypes and to produce stories that described Latinos in their full dimension, using feature articles, first-person stories, oral histories, commentaries and photos. They covered stories of success, struggle, art, politics, family, religion, culture, education, farm labor and history. In 1984, the series won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. The stories are now available in digital form for the first time.

Please note: Our standards on certain terms such as “illegal,” “illegal immigrant” and “blacks” have changed, but we have preserved the original text in order to provide an accurate account of the work in print.


Boyle Heights: Problems, Pride and Promise



JULY 31, 1983 12 AM PT

Fresh from his sauna, a young Chicano combed his hair before an ornate mirror hanging beside the cashier’s cage at a Russian bathhouse in Boyle Heights.

He studied his bronze visage in the gilded, baroque glass, smiled, thanked the Japanese manager and strolled out of the brick building at 1st and Chicago streets.

For 80 years the old mirror at the 1st Street Bath House has reflected the faces of immigrants from around the world who have settled in Boyle Heights. First came the Russians, Jews and Japanese, then the Armenians, Italians and Chinese.

Now Boyle Heights is a barrio, a bastion of Latino culture, populated by Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who began arriving in large numbers 30 years ago. So many have come that Boyle Heights and the East Los Angeles communities adjacent to it have become the Mexican-American capital of the nation.


Read entire article at Los Angeles Times

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