This lecture addresses the Chicano/a Movement of the 1960s and 70s, an example of the new style of Latino/a politics and culture marked by growing collective agency; the use of confrontational tactics; and the embracing of indigenous origins, bilingualism/biculturalism, anti-imperialism, and non-white racial identities.
Drawing inspiration from the “los cinco” in Crystal City, the United Farm Workers, and the land grant movement in New Mexico, urban activists transformed old organizations and created new ones such as the Brown Berets, the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), La Raza Unida Party, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes, and the Crusade for Justice. Youth and student activists led many of these “Brown Power” movements, including school walkouts and campaigns for the creation of Chicano Studies. They also built coalitions with Black Power activists. At the same time, the movimiento engendered stringent critiques from within and without, including discussions of the limits of cultural nationalism, the need to better address gender and sexuality, and the ongoing struggle for incorporation and acceptance in the dominant society.