'This Fair Land of Fruits and Flowers,' An Intro to Our New Blog | KCET
'This Fair Land of Fruits and Flowers,' An Intro to Our New Blog
In the late 19th century, The Land of Sunshine was a journal distributed across the country to promote Southern California life to tourists and potential residents. It extolled the endless beauty of the Los Angeles region and its abundant natural resources--"this fair land of fruits and flowers," as described in the poem that gave the journal its name. Charles Fletcher Lummis, who assumed editorial duties in 1895, was one of its most ardent promoters. The Anglo-ideals and the romanticized Mexican past portrayed in his writings lured many readers to move out west.
He did not merely act as a regional booster, however.
As an outspoken advocate for Native American rights, Lummis wrote often about the pleas of the natives. In his poem "The Old Mestizo," published in The Land of Sunshine in 1895, he points to the struggles they face with each new set of migrants:
In Los Angeles its landscape shifts continuously, literally and figuratively. Frequent seismic shifts shake up the grounds beneath us, while the cultures above ground are in constant cycles. Many buildings survive earthquakes, but migration and displacement can render neighborhoods unrecognizable within decades, for better or for worse. We are constantly striving to find our identity within the vast differences from each neighborhood to the next. By reinventing the environment around us, we try to create a new sense of place, while potentially burying the past.
We here at Departures aim to understand and record these shifts and cycles of our changing neighborhoods. By naming our blog Land of Sunshine, we give a nod to our complicated but hopeful past, while pointing to a future when we can reclaim that title without irony.
While the sun shines endlessly on our streets, there is always a bit of shade to be found around the corners of our city. The shade may be gone the next morning, but we will always remember where it used to be.
Amid the tumultuous years of the culture wars in the 80s and 90s, L.A. showed its support for its creative residents, by setting up a fellowship designed to boost the city's cultural capital. Its legacy continues today.
The Channel Islands are one of the least visited national parks and home to the fastest recovery effort of a mammal on the endangered species list in U.S. history. In the mid 1990’s, Island Fox populations started to decline and in 2004 they were added to
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