I created this site to be a central point for links, information and media about the Chicano movement and the history of Mexican Americans leading up to it.
What is the Chicano Movement?
The Chicano movement was a social movement that aimed to address the challenges that Hispanic, Latino, Hispano, Mexican-American…Chicano people were experiencing in the United States from the 1950’s through the 70’s. Chicanoism was a broad social movement and focused on everything from building strong communities, reestablishing bilingual education, promoting worker rights and providing access to economic opportunities for ethnic Mexican Americans. In addition to these goals, militant aspects of Chicanoism also set the stage for aggressive action and a desire to reclaim land and restore a sovereign government established and run by Chicanos.
Who were the Chicano Leaders?
In Colorado, the Chicano movement originated with Corky Gonzales whose epic poem, I am Juaquín or, Yo Soy Joaquín, provided a historical context and a rallying point for this movement. He founded the Colorado organization, Crusade for Justice, which was central to much of the political organization in Denver as well as nationally. The origination funded a bilingual school, Escuela Tlateloloco, fought police brutality by legally representing victims, and, of course, had a dance hall where the community could meet and discuss important issues of the day.
Nationally, Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta based in California advocated for farm worker’s rights organizing strikes throughout the US. José Gutiérrez in Texas formed a third party political, La Raza Unidad Party–one of many attempts to build a political party to address the needs and concerns of Mexican Americans.
Activists like Reies Tijerina took up arms with Alianza Federal de Mercedes in an attempt to reclaim land taken during the Mexican American War. These goals set them on a collision course with police, the FBI and the federal government and scores of violent and militant confrontations ensued.
Throughout this political struggle many artists, writers and poets grew out of this period in support and opposition to the Chicano Movement such as; Gloria E. Anzaldúa, Sandra Cisneros and Rudolfo Anaya. I’d like to add resources about these and other artists as well.
If you have photos, stories, or ideas or opinions you’d like to add to this site I would welcome them. Email me-JP-at: firstname.lastname@example.org