This is the first book solely dedicated to the history, development, and present-day flowering of Chicana and Chicano visual arts. It offers readers an opportunity to understand and appreciate Chicana/o art from its beginnings in the 1960s, its relationship to the Chicana/o Movement and its leading artists, themes, current directions, and cultural impacts.
Although the word “Chicano” once held negative connotations, students—along with civil rights activists and artists—adopted it in the late 1960s in order to reimagine and redefine what it meant to be Mexican American in the United States. Chicanismo is the ideology and spirit behind the Chicano Movement and Chicanismo unites the artists whose work is revealed and celebrated in this book.
Jackson’s scope is wide. He includes paintings, prints, murals, altars, sculptures, and photographs—and, of course, the artists who created them. Beginning with key influences, he describes the importance of poster and mural art, focusing on the work of the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada and the significance of Mexican and Cuban talleres (print workshops). He examines the importance of art collectives in the United States, as well as Chicano talleres and community art centers, for the growth of the Chicano art movement. In conclusion, he considers how Chicano art has been presented to the general American public.
As Jackson shows, the visual arts have both reflected and created Chicano culture in the United States. For college students—and for all readers who want to learn more about this fascinating subject—his book is an ideal introduction to an art movement with a social conscience.
Overflowing with powerful testimonies of six female community activists who have lived and worked in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, Chicanas of 18th Street reveals the convictions and approaches of those organizing for social reform. In chronicling a pivotal moment in the history of community activism in Chicago, the women discuss how education, immigration, religion, identity, and acculturation affected the Chicano movement. Chicanas of 18th Street underscores the hierarchies of race, gender, and class while stressing the interplay of individual and collective values in the development of community reform.
Highlighting the women's motivations, initiatives, and experiences in politics during the 1960s and 1970s, these rich personal accounts reveal the complexity of the Chicano movement, conflicts within the movement, and the importance of teatro and cultural expressions to the movement. Also detailed are vital interactions between members of the Chicano movement with leftist and nationalist community members and the influence of other activist groups such as African Americans and Marxists.
La Gente traces the rise of the Chicana/o Movement in Sacramento and the role of everyday people in galvanizing a collective to seek lasting and transformative change during the 1960s and 1970s. In their efforts to be self-determined, la gente contested multiple forms of oppression at school, at work sites, and in their communities.
Though diverse in their cultural and generational backgrounds, la gente were constantly negotiating acts of resistance, especially when their lives, the lives of their children, their livelihoods, or their households were at risk. Historian Lorena V. Márquez documents early community interventions to challenge the prevailing notions of desegregation by barrio residents, providing a look at one of the first cases of outright resistance to desegregation efforts by ethnic Mexicans. She also shares the story of workers in the Sacramento area who initiated and won the first legal victory against canneries for discriminating against brown and black workers and women, and demonstrates how the community crossed ethnic barriers when it established the first accredited Chicana/o and Native American community college in the nation.
Márquez shows that the Chicana/o Movement was not solely limited to a handful of organizations or charismatic leaders. Rather, it encouraged those that were the most marginalized—the working poor, immigrants and/or the undocumented, and the undereducated—to fight for their rights on the premise that they too were contributing and deserving members of society.
Mythohistorical Interventions explores how myth and history impacted the social struggle of the Chicano movement and the postmovement years. Drawing on archival materials and political speeches as well as music and protest poetry, Lee Bebout scrutinizes the ideas that emerged from the effort to organize and legitimize the Chicano movement’s aims.
Examining the deployment of the Aztec eagle by the United Farm Workers union, the poem Yo Soy Joaquín, the document El Plan de Santa Barbara, and icons like La Malinche and La Virgen de Guadalupe, Bebout reveals the centrality of culture to the Chicano movement. For Bebout, the active implementation of cultural narrative was strategically significant in several ways. First, it allowed disparate movement participants to imagine themselves as part of a national, and nationalist, community of resistance. Second, Chicano use of these narratives contested the images that fostered Anglo-American hegemony.
Bringing his analysis up to the present, Bebout delineates how demographic changes have, on the one hand, encouraged the possibility of a panethnic Latino community, while, on the other hand, anti-Mexican nativists attempt to resurrect Chicano myths as a foil to restrict immigration from Mexico.
As both an idea and an institution, the family has been at the heart of Chicano/a cultural politics since the Mexican American civil rights movement emerged in the late 1960s. In Next of Kin, Richard T. Rodríguez explores the competing notions of la familia found in movement-inspired literature, film, video, music, painting, and other forms of cultural expression created by Chicano men. Drawing on cultural studies and feminist and queer theory, he examines representations of the family that reflect and support a patriarchal, heteronormative nationalism as well as those that reconfigure kinship to encompass alternative forms of belonging.
Describing how la familia came to be adopted as an organizing strategy for communitarian politics, Rodríguez looks at foundational texts including Rodolfo Gonzales’s well-known poem “I Am Joaquín,” the Chicano Liberation Youth Conference’s manifesto El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, and José Armas’s La Familia de La Raza. Rodríguez analyzes representations of the family in the films I Am Joaquín, Yo Soy Chicano, and Chicana; the Los Angeles public affairs television series ¡Ahora!; the experimental videos of the artist-activist Harry Gamboa Jr.; and the work of hip-hop artists such as Kid Frost and Chicano Brotherhood. He reflects on homophobia in Chicano nationalist thought, and examines how Chicano gay men have responded to it in works including Al Lujan’s video S&M in the Hood, the paintings of Eugene Rodríguez, and a poem by the late activist Rodrigo Reyes. Next of Kin is both a wide-ranging assessment of la familia’s symbolic power and a hopeful call for a more inclusive cultural politics.
The Chicano Movement, el movimiento, is known as the largest and most expansive civil rights and empowerment movement by Mexican Americans up to that time. It made Chicanos into major American political actors and laid the foundation for today’s Latino political power. Rewriting the Chicano Movement is a collection of powerful new essays on the Chicano Movement that expand and revise our understanding of the movement. These essays capture the commitment, courage, and perseverance of movement activists, both men and women, and their struggles to achieve the promises of American democracy.
The essays in this volume broaden traditional views of the Chicano Movement that are too narrow and monolithic. Instead, the contributors to this book highlight the role of women in the movement, the regional and ideological diversification of the movement, and the various cultural fronts in which the movement was active. Rewriting the Chicano Movement stresses that there was no single Chicano Movement but instead a composite of movements committed to the same goal of Chicano self-determination. Scholars, students, and community activists interested in the history of the Chicano Movement can best start by reading this book.
Contributors: Holly Barnet-Sanchez, Tim Drescher, Jesús Jesse Esparza, Patrick Fontes, Mario T. García, Tiffany Jasmín González, Ellen McCracken, Juan Pablo Mercado, Andrea Muñoz, Michael Anthony Turcios, Omar Valerio-Jiménez
Reies López Tijerina, one of the Four Horsemen of the Chicano Movement, led the land grant struggle by Hispanos in the 1960s to recover the lands granted to their ancestors by Spain and Mexico and then guaranteed by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. In his struggle, Tijerina became the target of local and state law enforcement officials in New Mexico and the FBI nationwide. José Angel Gutiérrez meticulously examines thousands of pages of FBI documents, interview transcripts, newspaper reports, and other written accounts on Tijerina and the Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres, the organization of land grant claimants led by Tijerina in New Mexico. The primary source materials that document the U.S. government’s attempts to destroy Tijerina, his family, and his followers complement the secondary literature on Tijerina and his efforts as the premier leader of the land grant recovery movement. Threaded through the volume are glimpses into the special personal relationship between Tijerina and the author.
Beginning as a grassroots organizer in the 1950s, Vicente Ximenes was at the forefront of the movement for Mexican American civil rights through three presidential administrations, joining Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and later emerging as one of the highest-ranking appointees in Johnson’s administration. Ximenes succeeded largely because he could adapt his rhetoric for different audiences in his speeches and writings. Michelle Hall Kells elucidates Ximenes’s achievements through a rhetorical history of his career as an activist.
Kells draws on Ximenes’s extensive archive of speeches, reports, articles, and oral interviews to present the activist’s rhetorical history. After a discussion of Ximenes’s early life, the author focuses on his career as an activist, examining Ximenes’s leadership in several key civil rights events, including the historic 1967 White House Cabinet Committee Hearings on Mexican American Affairs. Also highlighted is his role in advancing Mexican Americans and Latinos from social marginalization to greater representation in national politics.
This book shows us a remarkable man who dedicated the majority of his life to public service, using rhetoric to mobilize activists for change to secure civil rights advances for his fellow Mexican Americans.