Homies are a series of figurines representing various Chicano Mexican American characters, based on a comic strip created by David Gonzalez featuring a “cast of characters” from his youth. First released in 1998, the LAPD complained about the Homies figurines arguing that the “urban inner-city Latino” figures glorified gang life. Law enforcement pressured retailers to stop selling Homies. In response, Gonzalez explained that he “did not create Homies to glamorize gang life.” He created stories for each of the characters on the Homies website, each one embodying a positive trait.
What do Homies figurines represent or prompt you to think? Perpetuated, gross stereotypes about Chicanos? Gang members, undocumented or drug dealers? Positive images that help Latin American adolescents with their cultural identity and self-esteem? A representation of a greater range of lifestyle choices and possibilities?