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In March 1968, thousands of Chicano students walked out of their East Los Angeles high schools and middle schools to protest decades of inferior and discriminatory education in the so-called "Mexican Schools." During these historic walkouts, or "blowouts," the students were led by Sal Castro, a courageous and charismatic Mexican American teacher who encouraged the students to make their grievances public after school administrators and school board members failed to listen to them. The resulting blowouts sparked the beginning of the urban Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the largest and most widespread civil rights protests by Mexican Americans in U.S. history. This fascinating testimonio, or oral history, transcribed and presented in Castro's voice by historian Mario T. Garcia, is a compelling, highly readable narrative of a young boy growing up in Los Angeles who made history by his leadership in the blowouts and in his career as a dedicated and committed teacher. Blowout! fills a major void in the history of the civil rights and Chicano movements of the 1960s, particularly the struggle for educational justice.
In March 1968, thousands of Chicano students walked out of their East Los Angeles high schools and middle schools to protest decades of inferior and discriminatory education in the so-called "Mexican Schools." During these historic walkouts, or "blowouts," the students were led by Sal Castro, a courageous and charismatic Mexican American teacher who encouraged the students to make their grievances public after school administrators and school board members failed to listen to them. The resulting blowouts sparked the beginning of the urban Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the largest and most widespread civil rights protests by Mexican Americans in U.S. history. This fascinating testimonio, or oral history, transcribed and presented in Castro's voice by historian Mario T. Garcia, is a compelling, highly readable narrative. Beginning with Castro's experiences as a boy growing up in Los Angeles, the story takes him through a stint in the military, to his career as a teacher, his role as a key leader and facilitator of the blowouts, and his experience as the subject of an week-long sit-in at the offices of the School Board by students and community members who did not want to see him fired from his job. Castro expresses his deep commitment to instilling in young Mexican Americans a sense of cultural pride, and to encouraging their aspirations to achieve a college education and full participation in American society. With humor and affection, he challenges and provokes his audience to recognize the long path ahead. Blowout! fills a major void in the history of the civil rights and Chicano movements of the 1960s, particularly the struggle for educational justice. The enhanced electronic version of the book draws from archives, libraries, and the author's personal collection and includes more than 150 interview excerpts, documents, and photographs, each embedded in the text where it will be most meaningful. Featuring more than 100 audio and video clips (more than 3.5 hours total) from 10 individuals, including Castro himself, the enhanced e-book brings alive the collective nature of the blowouts through the voices of people who were at the center of the action.
In the 1960s and 1970s, an energetic new social movement emerged among Mexican Americans. Fighting for civil rights and celebrating a distinct ethnic identity, the Chicano Movement had a lasting impact on the United States, from desegregation to bilingual education. Rethinking the Chicano Movement provides an astute and accessible introduction to this vital grassroots movement. Bringing together different fields of research, this comprehensive yet concise narrative considers the Chicano Movement as a national, not just regional, phenomenon, and places it alongside the other important social movements of the era. Rodriguez details the many different facets of the Chicano movement, including college campuses, third-party politics, media, and art, and traces the development and impact of one of the most important post-WWII social movements in the United States.
Much of the history of Mexican American educational reform efforts has focused on campaigns to eliminate discrimination in public schools. However, as historian Guadalupe San Miguel demonstrates in Chicana/o Struggles for Education: Activisim in the Community, the story is much broader and more varied than that. While activists certainly challenged discrimination, they also worked for specific public school reforms and sought private schooling opportunities, utilizing new patterns of contestation and advocacy. In documenting and reviewing these additional strategies, San Miguel’s nuanced overview and analysis offers enhanced insight into the quest for equal educational opportunity to new generations of students. San Miguel addresses questions such as what factors led to change in the 1960s and in later years; who the individuals and organizations were that led the movements in this period and what motivated them to get involved; and what strategies were pursued, how they were chosen, and how successful they were. He argues that while Chicana/o activists continued to challenge school segregation in the 1960s as earlier generations had, they broadened their efforts to address new concerns such as school funding, testing, English-only curricula, the exclusion of undocumented immigrants, and school closings. They also advocated cultural pride and memory, inclusion of the Mexican American community in school governance, and opportunities to seek educational excellence in private religious, nationalist, and secular schools. The profusion of strategies has not erased patterns of de facto segregation and unequal academic achievement, San Miguel concludes, but it has played a key role in expanding educational opportunities. The actions he describes have expanded, extended, and diversified the historic struggle for Mexican American education.
The largest social movement by people of Mexican descent in the U.S. to date, the Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 70s linked civil rights activism with a new, assertive ethnic identity: Chicano Power! Beginning with the farmworkers' struggle led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta, the Movement expanded to urban areas throughout the Southwest, Midwest and Pacific Northwest, as a generation of self-proclaimed Chicanos fought to empower their communities. Recently, a new generation of historians has produced an explosion of interesting work on the Movement. The Chicano Movement: Perspectives from the Twenty-First Century collects the various strands of this research into one readable collection, exploring the contours of the Movement while disputing the idea of it being one monolithic group. Bringing the story up through the 1980s, The Chicano Movement introduces students to the impact of the Movement, and enables them to expand their understanding of what it means to be an activist, a Chicano, and an American.
For the past 40 years, the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) has been on the forefront of advocacy to improve opportunity in higher education for US persons of Mexican origin. This volume in the ongoing Images of America series chronicles the history of this unique organization.
The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 has long been overshadowed by the assassination of its architect, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the political turmoil of that year. In a major reinterpretation of civil rights and Chicano movement history, Gordon K. Mantler demonstrates how King's unfinished crusade became the era's most high-profile attempt at multiracial collaboration and sheds light on the interdependent relationship between racial identity and political coalition among African Americans and Mexican Americans. Mantler argues that while the fight against poverty held great potential for black-brown cooperation, such efforts also exposed the complex dynamics between the nation's two largest minority groups. Drawing on oral histories, archives, periodicals, and FBI surveillance files, Mantler paints a rich portrait of the campaign and the larger antipoverty work from which it emerged, including the labor activism of Cesar Chavez, opposition of Black and Chicano Power to state violence in Chicago and Denver, and advocacy for Mexican American land-grant rights in New Mexico. Ultimately, Mantler challenges readers to rethink the multiracial history of the long civil rights movement and the difficulty of sustaining political coalitions.

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