Racism, Resistance, and Repression: The Creation of Denver Gangs, 1924-1950
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2011 by the University Press of Colorado. All rights reserved. This chapter provides a historical overview of Mexican American gangs and gang enforcement in Denver, Colorado. The contemporary fascination with gangs in Denver has continued to generate media and public appeal, but little is reported about their origination. Looking to the past allows an opportunity to analyze decision making by public officials and how they responded to a perceived minority group threat. To carry out the research for this chapter, I gathered an extensive number of newspaper clippings and primary documents. In addition, I conducted five years of ethnographic research (2001-2006) to report on the gang experience for my dissertation at the University of Colorado. Jennifer Earl and colleagues (2004:76) reported that newspaper data "facilitate longitudinal research, and make quantitative research on social movements more viable." During this period, newspapers and official statistics were filtered through the eyes of the dominant group and thus offered a glimpse of their understanding of the situation. My goal is to reexamine this dominant viewpoint by incorporating the previously silenced voice of Denver's Mexican American community.
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ENDURING LEGACIES: ETHNIC HISTORIES AND CULTURES OF COLORADO