For the third year, TSTC Support Services has brought awareness to community issues with the hope of empowering advocates. Previous focuses have been on Human Trafficking and Gangs Next Door. This year the audience will change from Law Enforcement, Caseworkers, and Advocates to the general public. The purpose is to provide cultural awareness to the unfamiliar.
TSTC will host its 3rd Annual Empowerment Conference. This year's focus will be Promoting Social Diversity through Cultural Awareness. Primarily focusing on Chicanos and the Lowriding Movement in our area. This event is open to the public and will feature presenter experts from the Rio Grande Valley.
A Show & Shine Car Show will close the event from 5:00 to 7:00 pm to showcase the craftsmanship put into Lowrider vehicles in the area.
On both sides of the Mexican border and throughout the Southwest, lowriders and their elaborately crafted carritos, carruchas, or ranflas-as the cars are affectionately called-contribute a particular stylistic flair to the multivocalic discourse on Mexican-American identity.
Lowriding first drew widespread attention in the late 1970s, sensationalized in "cruising" films such as Boulevard Nights, burlesqued in Cheech and Chong's classic Up in Smoke, and framed as cultural curiosity in print. In contrast, Low Rider magazine, together with the music of such bands as War and the Luis Valdez film Zoot Suit, have more seriously portrayed the social and material realities of barrio life that shape bajito identity and style. As a public forum on Mexican-American identity, Low Rider has recast pejorative stereotypes-the culturally ambiguous pachucos, the dapper zoot-suiter, the street-wise cholo homeboy, the pinto or prison veterano, and the wild vato loco-as affirmative cultural types emerging from Anglo domination. The style apparently arose in northern California in the late 1930s but evolved in Los Angeles, where its innovators responded to Hollywood's aesthetic and commercial demands. Lowriding expresses pride in craftsmanship learned through community apprenticeship; in mechanical work learned in the military, auto detail shops, and garages; and in economy.
Migrants brought Lowriding style east into Texas and the movement still continues in the Rio Grande Valley. Lowriders have encountered stereotyping by police and others unfamiliar with the lifestyle. It has evolved into a family legacy and generations of car aficionados. Bobby Garza with Good Times Car Club put the RGV on the map when he brought home Lowrider Magazine’s 2014 Lowrider of the Year with his RM Series. Though cruising is not a crime, the negativity associated with Lowriders has put a damper on the movement. Come explore the multi-generational background of the Lowrider Movement in the Rio Grande Valley.