Southland Jackie Ishida Analysis

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California, the petri dish of global political activity. From its very beginning, Southern California has been a frontrunner in political thought and activism. Major political organizations have either started in California or at the very minimum have local political branch. But as Pulido points out “people cannot fully participate in social movements without undergoing a process of political awakening.” (Pulido pg 61). I would like to explore the process of political politicization and how it correlates with protagonist Jackie Ishida, a young Japanese American senior law student coming of political age in the novel “Southland” by Nina Revoyr.
The process of become politically aware or creating a political conscious is a two-step process
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Little did Jackie know, that her Aunt Lois’s seeming easy and benign task of finding an acquaintance from her grandfather’s past, Curtis Martindale, which he bequeath a sizable amount of cash would be the catalyst of her political conscience. Early, she is challenged with the murder mystery that takes place in her grandfather’s store. Her odyssey of self-discovery, takes her to South Central, Crenshaw, Little Tokyo and Downtown Los Angeles where she learns their relevant historical significance. Our protagonist is confronted with the racial conflicts and prejudices that dictate how people reacted to one another in the past and present. She is reminded of the violence that torn not only communities apart but families as well. How the social norms of the day restricted people’s lives and held them in the balance of life and death. Her grandfathers past life, her grandmother cultural silence about the internment and husband’s affair, the police brutality that cause the death of 4 young black teenagers. Even her own inner conflicts with her sexuality and Japanese heritage. She starts to see the world around her with a different
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