Low Rider Get a Little Lower

Eddie Rufus, Writer

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In the 1950’s young Chicanos created a style called ‘’ low riding ‘’ that expressed the pride of Mexican culture. The peak of low riding culture was on Whittier Blvd in LA, a wide commercial street through the barrio of the city. Gliding through Whittier on a Sunday in the 70’s were brightly painted cars modified by young Mexican american men to ride low to the ground.  Fitted with special hydraulics to make the cars bounce up and down. The guiding principle of low riding was ‘’low and slow’’ Low riders, wrote journalist Ted West in 1976, ‘’ Express the refusal of a young Chicano American to be anglicized. In the 60’s it linked itself to the emerging Chicano civil rights movement, as the 70 unfolded low riding emerged ever so slightly into the american mainstream. The song “low rider’’ by the group War became a top 10 hit in 1975, a Chevrolet impala low rider christened ‘’ gypsy rose’’ appeared in the 70’s in the opening credits of NBC ‘’Chic0 and the Man”cruising down Whittier Blvd.