Bajito y Suavecito

Bajito y Suavecito - Bajito y Suavecito: The Lowriding...

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Bajito y Suavecito: The Lowriding Tradition by Denise Sandoval Copyright by Denise Michelle Sandoval 2003 All Rights Reserved Smithsonian Latino Center Lowrider Exhibit http://latino.si.edu/virtualgallery/Lowrider/LR_SandovalEssay.htm Bajito y Suavecito. Low and Slow. It is a phrase that captures the distinctiveness of this American cultural practice. Lowriding has a style and art which is distinctly its own. It is more than just customized cars; it is also a way of life for many. Family, honor and respect, those are more than just words, they are the unwritten social codes of the lowrider car clubs. They are also the building blocks of the history and spirit of the lowriding tradition, which has crossed regional, national and international boundaries. In many ways, lowriding in Mexican American communities is a living history of the Mexican American experience in the United States since its dates back to the early 1940s when Pachucos cruised the boulevard. Therefore, Mexican Americans through the years have been associated with popularizing low riding, mainly due to the national and international popularity of LowRider Magazine and other popular media outlets, such as television and movies. Yet, lowriding has also impacted other cultural groups as well such as African Americans, Asian Americans and Anglo-Americans. Each of these groups has marked out a space within the lowriding scene and they have also added to its vitality. What has evolved over the years is a multicultural practice that involves crossing cultural borders through a shared passion—lowriders. So where did lowriding begin you ask? That is the million-dollar question. Anyone you ask has a different story to tell. So, maybe the real question here is just what is lowriding all about? The journey into the history of lowriding reveals not only a passion for cars, but also documents a part of the Mexican American experience that is often misunderstood. The cars are the canvases on which the car owners create their dreams, express their identity, and continue a tradition that began long ago. History of Low Riding Low Riding as a cultural form is part of an American mode of expression through both its materialist ideology and its classifications of aesthetics. Low Riders emerged out of the Southwest during post World War II America. . Low riders have historically been part of the barrio youth culture, from the early 1940' with pachucos in their zoot suits and nice "rides” to the beginnings of car clubs in the 1950s to the Chicano Movement of the late 1960s. Car culture within Chicano communities has been the result of the changes occurring at the social and economic level. Car industry and aerospace industries boomed in many urban areas after WWII, especially in cities like Los Angeles and Detroit. After WWII, many cities underwent a phase of tremendous expansion and growth and there was a need for labor in both high skilled and low skilled sectors. After the war, many people now had money in their
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Bajito y Suavecito - Bajito y Suavecito: The Lowriding...

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