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New Left Review I/234, March-April 1999


Mike Davis

Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City

Sometime during 1996, at the very latest, Latinos surpassed Blacks as the second largest ethno-racial group in New York City. (They long have been the largest census group in the Bronx.) There were no street celebrations in El Barrio or Washington Heights, nor did the mayor hold a press conference from the steps of Gracie Mansion. Indeed, most New Yorkers remain oblivious to this demographic watershed, which was first announced in an academic working paper. [1] Mitchell Moss, Anthony Townsend, and Emmanuel Tobier, Immigration Is Transforming New York City, Taub Urban Research Center, nyu, December 1997, p. 1. No borough, except Staten Island, has a majority group any longer. Yet it was an epochal event all the same: comparable to the numerical ascendancy of the Irish during the 1870s or the peaking of black migration to New York in the early 1960s.

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