Publish date:Sep 18, 2020How the Chicano Movement Championed Mexican-Amerihave the right to Identity and Fought for Change

In the 1960s, a radicalized Mexican-American movement began pushing for a new identification. The Chicano Movement, aka El Movimiento, advocated social and political empowerment through a chicanismo or cultural nationalism.

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As the activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales claimed in a 1967 poem, “La raza! / Méjicano! / Español! / Latino! / Chicano! / Or whatever I speak to myself, / I look the same.”


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Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales speaking exterior a police structure to members of his company, the Crusade for Justice, 1969.

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Leading as much as the 1960s, Mexican-Americans had sustained years of discrimination in the U.S. West and also Southwest. After the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo put an end to the Mexican-Amerihave the right to War in 1848, Mexicans that made a decision to remajor on area delivered to the United States were promised citizenship and also “the ideal to their residential or commercial property, language and also society.”


But in the majority of situations, Mexicans in America––those that later immigrated and those that stayed in areas wright here the UNITED STATE border shifted over––found themselves living as second-class citizens. Land also grants promised after the Mexican-Amerihave the right to War were denied by the U.S. federal government, impoverishing many type of land-approve descendants in the location.

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Not White, But ‘Chicano’

Throughout the at an early stage 20th century, many kind of Mexican-Americans attempted to assimilate and also also filed legal instances to press for their neighborhood to be recognized as a course of white Americans, so they might get civil civil liberties. But by the late 1960s, those in the Chicano Movement abandoned efforts to blfinish in and also proactively embraced their full heritage.


By adopting “Chicano” or “Xicano,” activists took on a name that had lengthy been a racial slur—and wore it via pride. And rather of just recognizing their Spanish or European background, Chicanos now additionally celebrated their Indigenous and also Afrihave the right to roots.

Leaders in the movement pumelted for change in multiple components of Amerideserve to society, from labor rights to education redevelop to land also reclamation. As University of Minnesota Chicano & Latino Studies professor Jimmy C. Patino Jr. states, the Chicano Movement ended up being well-known as “a motion of movements.” “Tright here were lots of different worries,” he claims, “and the farmworker concern most likely was the beginning.”

Chávez Leads Fight for Farmworkers’ Rights


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UFW co-founders Dolores Huerta and also Cesar Chavez, 1968.

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César Chávez and Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later ended up being United Farm Workers (UFW) in California to fight for improved social and also financial problems. Chavez, who was born right into a Mexican-Amerihave the right to miapprove farmworker family, had actually knowledgeable the grueling problems of the farmworker first-hand also. 

In January 1968, Chávez lent his voice to a strike for grape employees, arranged by the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), a mostly Filipino labor organization. With the help of Chávez’s advocacy and also Huerta’s difficult negotiating abilities, and the persistent difficult work of Filipino-Amerihave the right to organizer, Larry Itliong, the union won several victories for workers once growers signed contracts via the union.