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The Chicano Movement: Mexican American History and the Struggle for Equality

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The Chicano/Chicana movement was a product of the global eruption that took place in 1968. A critical understanding of this movement requires that it be put into a historical context and theoretical framework of an indigenous people who were internally colonized by the expanding US Empire after the end of the US-Mexico War of 1846-48. Violent and nonviolent struggles took place prior to the 1960s over the issues of land, social justice, and civil rights. The first nonviolent and largest Mexican American mass protest in US history occurred in the Spring of 1968 in East Los Angeles, California, where over ten thousand Chicano high school students walked out of their inferior and racist barrio high schools. The student walkouts ignited the emergence of the Chicano civil rights movement. The movement’s positive contributions and failures will be discussed. Discussion will conclude with a critical analysis of Mexican American struggles in the present age of “Trumpism”.

Affiliations: 1: University of California Berkeley


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1. Blackwell Maylei 2011 Chicana Power!: Contested Histories of Feminism in the Chicano Movement Austin University of Texas Press
2. Broyles-González Yolanda 1994 El Teatro Campesino: Theatre in the Chicano Movement Austin University of Texas Press
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