On weekends, downtown Los Angeles' Broadway is a teeming mass of Hispanic shoppers. Record-store loudspeakers blare Mexican hits: Juro que Nunca Volveré (I Swear I'll Never Return), Mi Fracaso (My Downfall). The Orpheum Theater, where Al Jolson once sang in blackface, screens Spanish-language dubbings of anglo hits. An archipelago of taco and burrito carts dots the street. Stores and merchandise stands tout their wares: vestidos, tocadiscos, muebles (clothing, phonographs, furniture). Farther east, on Whittier Boulevard, young Hispanics express themselves with a unique form of Saturday night fever known as "low riding"—cruising in...

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