What are they?
Rodolfo F. Acuña
It has been forty years since the first Chicano Studies programs were initiated on campuses throughout the United States. This accomplishment is a tribute to the tenacity of less than a couple of hundred students who were concerned about the failure of the schools to educate Mexican American students, pointing to the horrendous dropout rate in the public schools.
Since then few scholars of any race have examined this historic phenomenon treating CHS just like any other product of the sixties, forgetting how and why they came about. In many cases it has become the preoccupation of many Chicana/o faculty members to prove their legitimacy. It is not uncommon for them to claim this legitimacy by arguing that Chicana/o studies is a content field distinguishing CHS programs from service departments and pedagogical fields such as education.
Every wave of scholars for the past forty years has ignored important epistemological questions. Because of this we have to suffer through a rash of conferences rehashing movement events without dealing with the genesis of individual programs or the nature of CHS. Instead of probing how and why CHS came about, we theorize what it is and avoid an epistemological understanding.
Few scholars have attempted to answer why the development of CHS has been so uneven. They have not dealt with basic questions such as the historical differences within southwest states themselves. For instance, Texas and California are often as different as the disparate Central American nationalities. Population and modes of production in these states differ even within the states there are the distinctions, i.e., northern and southern California. El Paso, the Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio.
Under the sway of the elitism of the academy, many CHS scholars claim that CHS is a content field. They claim that they are just as rigorous as the other disciplines. It is common in academe for the hard sciences to occupy the top of the pyramid, followed by the social sciences, the humanities, and the arts with education occupying the lowest step—research not teaching rules.
In academe, rarely are teaching methods discussed. Methods more often refer to research methods. Within this logic quantitative techniques trump qualitative evidence. Similarly research institutions trump teaching colleges with the state more generously rewarding researchers. The teaching load at research and teaching institutions is distinguished by the actual time devoted to teaching. Professors at research institutions teach lighter loads, get more sabbatical time and grants to fund research.
This pecking order has influenced the development of the disparate programs. For instance, it has only been until recently that the Chicana/o studies department at California State University at Northridge has been able to attract Chicanas or Chicanos with doctorates from tier one institutions. I spoken to Chicanos who professed their commitment to the revolution who told me that they had not gotten a PhD to work the same hours as a high school teacher.
This attitude was common to Chicanas/os across the board regardless of gender or whether they were Marxists, feminists or nationalists and it profoundly affected the development of what is today called Chicana/o studies.
In considering outcome, it would have been important to define and debate teaching methods.
My first proposition is that there is a difference between Chicana/o studies programs that are defined by a curriculum rather than individual course in the traditional disciplines. For instance, Chicana/o history is not Chicana/o studies, it is a field within the discipline of history where common historical methods are used to research, study and teach that corpus of knowledge of Mexican American people. In the same vein, Chicana/o literature does not study, research or teach CHS but it is a field within the discipline of literature.
My second proposition is that Chicana/o studies are not defined by its content rather they are is bound together by a pedagogy that defines their purpose. It is the foundation used to motivate and teach Latina/o students. The content is an important motivational tool to inspire students to learn, to correct the negative self-images that have come about through the process of colonialism. This is not unique to Mexican Americans. The national question raged in Europe during the latter part of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries.
Hence, content fields studying CHS should have developed within the context of a pedagogy, which should have given it a sense of purpose.
Other than perhaps at California State Northridge the focus has been on the development of content fields. Little integration has taken place. There has been an artificial pursuit of finding a common research methodology which is almost impossible. It is not enough to say that a multidiscipline approach is part of its course of study. A more natural linking is pedagogy.
In struggling toward an identity for Chicana/o studies I have tried to convey this particular vision to colleagues. However, they often ignore me and I am certain that they write it off as cada loco con su tema (every madman to his own opinion).
I did not find much of an audience until I came into contact with La Raza Studies program at the Tucson Unified School District. As mentioned, today it is under attack by conservatives and neo-Nazis who say that it is unpatriotic because it teaches about Mexicans and emphasizes teaching methodology using the principles of Paulo Freire, John Dewey and Edwin Fenton—rejecting the model that students should be warehoused.
This flies in the face of the goal of educating students. The Tucson outcome has been more than encouraging. Currently Latino and African American males have the lowest in third grade reading tests in the nation. The Latino high school dropout rates nationwide hovers around 56 percent, higher if the dropout from middle school to high school is included. Only about 24 percent of graduating Latinos go on to college, mostly to community colleges.
Tucson’s Unified School District's Ethnic Studies and Mexican American Studies programs has reversed these trends. The dropout rate in this program is 2.5 percent. Students in the program significantly outperform their peers on the state's standardized AIMS tests and 66 percent of these students go on to college.
This semester the program is offering 43 sections and serves 1500 students in six TUSD high schools, with similar programs at the middle and elementary school levels. “The classes are designed to be culturally relevant – to help the students see themselves in the curriculum and make them see why education is important for them. If they see themselves in the educational literature they find more reasons to read and write, to research and draw conclusions.”
Central to La Raza Studies is the use of critical theory which essentially means that they use the Socratic Method, a powerful, teaching tactic for fostering critical thinking. It focuses on giving students questions, not answers. It has been used at the better law schools to prepare American law students for Socratic questioning.
Apparently critical thinking threatens many white Americans who do not want Mexicans question their version of the truth. In the late 1960’s California Superintendent of Schools Max Rafferty called a reform movement advocating a similar inquiry method of teaching social science subversive because it taught students to question.
Logically, Americans should be elated that Mexicans are learning and are motivated to go to college. So why are they trying to eliminate it? The truth be told, they don’t want Mexicans to succeed. They want them to live up to the stereotype and to be subservient. They don’t want competition for higher paying jobs; they don’t want to endanger their poorly paid reserve labor pool.
La Raza Studies people are serious about their pedagogy. This past July they held the 12th Annual Institute for Transformative Education in partnership with the University Of Arizona School Of Education. The institutes feature educators from across the United States. http://www.tusd.k12.az.us/contents/depart/mexicanam/index.asp. The presenters and the participants are multiracial, i.e., scholars such as Pedro A. Noguera, Executive Director, Metropolitan Center for Urban Education New York University, and Angela Valenzuela, University of Texas Austin. Their focus is to improve teaching effectiveness.
For the past forty years, every reform measure that involves better teaching has been shot down by the American electorate—bilingual education, affirmative action, racial integration, smaller class sizes, etc. Even though programs such as La Raza Studies prove, that when programs are properly thought out and supported, they work. A pretext is almost always found to eliminate them.
Americans want to continue the same old blame game. In the 1920s they blamed Mexican culture and sought to Americanize Mexican American youth. In the sixties they blamed the parents, the Mexican family. Today they are blaming the teachers.
The bottom line is that the United States has effectively saved capital trillions of dollars by draining professionals trained from other countries; at the same time, it out sources well paying technical jobs and production to poor countries. The United States does not need an educated workforce. It goes back to “why educate Mexicans, who’s going to pick our crops?” Rather than educate Latinos the solution is don’t educate them, build prisons. Keep them south of the border and if we need them, rent them, like they do U-hauls.
Forty Years of Chicana/o Studies
When the Myth becomes a Legend
Rodolfo F. Acuña
This year, the fortieth anniversary of Chicano studies, will revive the debate as to which college or university was the first to establish a Chicano studies department or program. Tragically, the debate will be a superficial exercise and not explore the epistemological roots of Chicano studies. Instead the debate will spin new myths. Wikipedia which today appears to be the fountainhead of knowledge, states that “Chicano studies is an academic discipline dealing with the study of Mexico. Like most branches of Ethnic studies, it incorporates aspects of various disciplines, including history, sociology, psychology, and literary and textual analyses from the academic studies of the English and Spanish languages.”[[#_ftn1|]
Wikipedia also alleges that most “Chicano studies departments are at public universities in the Southwestern United States, particularly in California…” which is also not true. Further, it says that “Some universities, particularly outside the Southwest, offer similar courses of study under the titles of Latino studies or Latin American Studies” which is true and not true. Wikipedia claims that “To this day, many Chicano studies departments maintain a strong commitment to campus and community activism.” True and not true.
Wikipedia says of the origins of Chicano studies that “Mexican Americans and other Latinos have always studied themselves,” mentioning Fray Angélico Chávez, George I. Sánchez, Américo Paredes, Ernesto Galarza, Julián Samora and others as the founders. While it is true that Chicanos and others have always studied them, Chicano studies are not about individual scholars; they are about the scholarly and systematic study and teaching about Mexican origin peoples in the United States. The study of Mexico is important to this development; but only in so far as how it influences the lives of Mexican origin people in the United States. The main focuses of Chicano studies are about Mexican Americans. As such, Chicano studies are not ethnic or Latino studies.
Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans have not lived in a vacuum; they have left footprints in terms of history, literature, and interactions with the legal and educational systems. These footprints have created a corpus or body of knowledge that is distinguished from other groups. How they are studied is called Chicano studies. It is not a single discipline as Wikipedia assumes. Chicano studies houses disparate disciplines which test their methods using disparate documents. When Chicano subject matter is studied outside the area of Chicano studies, for instance, in a history department, the study is called Chicano history etc.
Unlike the mainstream disciplines Chicano studies were not spin offs of mainstream disciplines. Chicano, Black, and Puerto Rican studies share a common genesis; they are the products of the civil rights movement and the turmoil of the sixties. Chicano communities literally muscled their way onto college campus across the Southwest and parts of the Midwest and Northwest. The most intense activity took place in areas where the Mexican origin population was the most concentrated; in 1970 the census showed that there were at least 4.53 million Mexican Americans nationally, mostly living along the 2000 mile border separating Mexico and the United States.
Disciplines such as sociology and political science evolved from history. In contrast Chicano studies rolled their own. No Chicano history textbook existed, for example, in 1969. Only a handful of classes nationally dealt with the Mexican American experience. Several research programs existed, e.g., Dr. Paul M. Sheldon, the director of Occidental College’s Laboratory in Urban Culture in the late 1950s, and the Ford Foundation funded study of the 1960 census during that decade. Their research underscored the inequality of Mexicans in the United States. The 1960 census showed the median education of Spanish-surnamed citizens over 25 in the Southwest was 7.1 years versus 12.1 for white people and 9.0 for non-whites. The data encouraged a cry for educational curricular reform that addressed the pedagogical needs of Mexican American students. These studies encouraged Mexican American teachers to form groups; they added to the awareness of the separate and unequal status of Mexican American students.
In this sense, the teaching and research on Mexican Americans evolved from the field of education. For example, there was the call for bilingual education, more Mexican American teachers, and reform of the educational system. It coincided with a population explosion among Mexican Americans and increased political activity. Hundreds of workshops on how to teach Mexican American students sprang up, each repeated horror stories of how the participants were punished for speaking Spanish in school. All of these grievances came to a head in the1968 high school walkouts in Los Angeles that spread independently throughout the country. Student organizations such as the United Mexican American Students in California and the Mexican American Youth Organization in Texas formed in 1967. Because of the size of the Mexican American population in California and Texas, the student activity there got more attention. However, the student turmoil was also mirrored every Mexican enclave in the country. Identity or nationalism, inflamed by Euro-American racism, contributed to a moral outrage and militancy.
Throughout 1968, the Mexican American student groups on disparate campuses merged with the civil rights and anti-war movements. The creation of Black and Chicano studies came about because of this turmoil. Pressured numerous colleges granted the protestors the right to begin the process of forming departments and programs. Los Angeles State College and Fresno State began the process the year before but were not certified and were wracked by internal problems. The universal emergence of Chicano studies coincided with the Crusade for Justice Chicano Youth Conference and the meeting of scholars and activists at Santa Barbara in April 1969.
Like so many Chicano educators, I became involved with the development of Chicano studies through activism and teaching. A public school teacher for eight years, I taught at the junior college and state college levels before landing at San Fernando Valley State College (SFVSC) in 1969. A committee composed of students, faculty members, and community representatives hired me in response to six months of intense confrontations, and the signing of a 12-Point Agreement by Black and Brown students and the administration that called for the recruitment of minority students and the establishment of a Pan African and Mexican American Studies departments. At the time, there were fewer than a hundred Chicano students on campus and about three hundred black students. The Education Opportunities Program (EOP) played a huge role on most California campuses in recruiting and guiding students. The EOP directors and peer counselors were idealists, committed to bringing about change.
San Fernando Valley was the most unlikely place for a Chicano studies department. A white bedroom community, SFVSC was once a satellite of Los Angeles State College. Many LA State professors had transferred to SFVSC in 1958. I remember one of my professors at LASC taking an entire class period to talk about the orange groves and the tile roof house he was building. He wanted to get away from the smog, a euphemism for minorities. I walked onto a polarized campus in February of 1969. It had been a battlefield. The Valley News of November 4, 1968 bannered, “Valley State Demonstrators Hold Building for 4 Hours,” adding that Black students had “Herd[ed] Administrators, Workers into Room Students Seize Upper Floors, Show Knives Amid Threats of Violence.” Los Angeles Mayor Sam Yorty red baited supporters of the black students. This confrontation was followed by mass demonstrations where students and faculty engaged in massive civil disobedience. The prospects of establishing a department seemed dim, although as part of the 12-Point Agreement, SFVSC committed itself to recruit 350 black and 350 new Chicano students per year.
Still gun shy, the campus faculty committees passed the new major without much scrutiny. Our curricula adopted an area studies approach, not one based on a single discipline. The fact that we were a teaching institution allowed pedagogy to be at the core of our courses. Unlike centers where courses are scattered in disparate departments, the area studies department gave coherence to the progress of Chicano studies, allowed us to build a constituency, and bank institutional capital derived from over enrolled classes. For instance, at a state college enrollment generates positions and resources; once you have a tenured faculty member it is difficult for the administration to cut back. Moreover, the area studies model allowed us to compete on monopoly boards that control the university and pass out rewards by requiring students take designated courses. Our history classes counted for history, literature for literature and so on. We could also compete in the liberal arts arena for courses that were compulsory for elementary school credential candidates. Our success at playing these boards lessened our reliance on majors and insured enrollment.
While I could recite a litany of factors that made the CSUN department successful I have chosen to discuss selected reasons for its success. First it was based on a sound academic model. We had no illusions that we were creating a revolutionary reality. Our mission from the beginning was to give students skills to seek out their own identity. Next, we resisted the fate of most programs that were forced into ethnic studies programs, Latino studies and other university market constructs. Third, great credit has to be given to MEChA (el Movimiento Estudiantil de Aztlan) that over the years has provided stability and support for the department. Along with EOP, it has reminded us why students sacrificed to establish Chicano studies. MEChA has been the most militant organization on campus with little if any internal student dissention. Its strong presence has prevented the factionalism common to other campuses.
A fourth factor for the success of CSUN Chicano (later Chicana/o) studies is that it was compatible to the charter of the college. SFVSC was and is a teaching institution, and we prioritized the training of teachers for the barrio. The purpose of Chicano studies was not esoteric; in the first two years its mission was to teach Chicano students skills and to build a positive identity. That was one of the reasons why we still teach writing and other communication skills. The first duty of Chicano studies was the Chicano student not the subject. We never considered pride to be negative; it is everyone’s right to feel like someone.
To this end, in the second year of the department’s life, we initiated an internship with schools in Ventura County to train Chicano teachers; in 1970 there were no Chicano teacher candidates at SFVSC. Credit has to be given to Jorge García and Oxnard School Board member Rachel Wong. The internships set the stage for a $375,000 Ford Foundation grant for teacher training. Universities commonly skim 20 to forty percent off the top of grants for administrative costs. We insisted that the monies go to student stipends of $1000 a fellow paying for 225 students over three overlapping cycles. In cooperation with EOP we got funding for an additional 150 students who we also called Ford Fellows. This allowed us to enter the university conversation, rewarding those departments that offered classes at the times we wanted them and staffed by instructors of our choice. The program was called Operation Chicano Teacher (OCT). We graduated literally hundreds of teachers who are today a force in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. OCT also shot up our enrollment figures, and by 1976 we had sixteen positions.
Lastly, we initially hired instructors without terminal degrees. Most were hired for their teaching skills. From the beginning, we emphasized that it was an entry level opportunity, and that for the good of students and the department faculty members had to enroll in graduate studies and get their terminal degree. Our music professors met the same standard as professors in music, and hence had different criterion. This happened in every case except for a female faculty member who refused, after being admitted, to continue graduate school although she was given release time to attend classes. The dean had voiced qualms that she only had a bachelor of arts with no scholarly articles (as defined in the Faculty Handbook). When she was not granted tenure by a committee comprised of Chicano studies faculty and students, some sources outside the institution accused us of sexism; they expected CSUN to hire a person with a bachelor degree although their own institutions would not hire anyone who did not have a terminal degree. At CSUN, MEChA reacted to the criticism by forming the strongest Mujeres groups in the nation led by chairs such as Norma Solis. As a consequence, we came out of it stronger with two-thirds of the faculty members being women and all have terminal degrees.
Despite resistance from the campus community, the department thrived. Today we have twenty-two tenure track professors, two-thirds of whom as mentioned are women, and we offer 166 sections of Chicano studies per semester, and have been instrumental in graduating more Chicano teachers than any institution in the country.[[#_ftn2|]] With this said, over the years, the CSUN administration has done little to help grow the department. What it cares most about is keeping enrollment high. As a consequence, Chicano studies have subsidized other departments. Based on our success, our dean is encouraging other studies departments to adopt the area studies model, which is academically disingenuous because they do not have qualified professors to teach courses, for example, in American history. The course has to meet specific criteria as to subject matter; the instructor must be qualified to teach this subject matter, and use the prescribed methodology. When you stretch disciplinary boundaries too far, you compromise the integrity of the offerings.
A lot has changed over the years. The culture of the department is different – it is more diverse than it was in 1970, going from under a hundred Mexican Americans to over ten thousand Latino students. Upward of one-fifth of the CSUN student population is Latino, the majority of who are of Mexican extraction. This is not overwhelming considering that a 2007 count showed that Latino/Hispanic students compose 56 percent of the high school students and 30 percent of the community college students in the San Fernando Valley. They are some seventy-five percent of the mammoth Los Angeles Unified School District. Today, a majority of first graders are Latino.
Despite the dramatic rise in Latino and Mexican American students, the CSUN culture has changed little. Two thirds of the departments do not have a single Chicano/a faculty member, and if you take the Chicano studies faculty out of the equation about 3.9 percent of the faculty members are of Mexican origin. Sadly Chicanos/as faculty members have changed more than the university, and they no longer prioritize activism and focus on scholarly production. Trained in disciplines outside Chicano studies, they have more affinity with the discipline in which they were trained than Chicana/o studies. It is not unusual that they attend meetings of the Modern Language Association, the American Historical Association or the American Sociological Association and ignore the National Association for Chicana/o Studies. Their academic training within narrow disciplines has contributed to this socialization as has the absorption of Chicana/o studies into Ethnic, American and Latin American studies structures.
In the years to come, the departments that in the past shunned Chicana/o and Latino students will compete for them. Witness that as of July 2007 Latinos comprised an estimated 45.5 million or 15.1 percent of the national population of 301.6 million. California alone had 13.2 million Latinos followed by Texas with 8.6 million and Florida with 3.8 million. An estimated two-thirds to 70 percent of these are of Mexican origin. If U.S. Latinos were a nation, they would constitute the third largest Latin American nation; the second largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world. Mexicans alone would be the sixth largest Latin American nation and the fifth largest Spanish speaking nation. Hence, it would seem reasonable that the academy, entrusted with the search for the truth, would want to study the group -- if for no other reason but to learn its impact on the identity of the nation. However, this will not happen without extreme political and physical pressure; Chicana/o studies have never come about through reasonable means.
[The reader is encouraged to write a one word response to the article or a 500 to thousand word essay of the history of Chicana/o Studies on their campus]
Rodolfo F. Acuña, Harvard Latino Law Review, Spring 2009, Vol. 12, pages 7-13
Most academic fields evolve from mainstream disciplines; they gradually develop paradigms and methodologies that separate them from their mother disciplines. Slowly new disciplines are defined and recognized by the academic journalsand academe. Sociology, anthropology, and the other social sciences are relatively young, having mutated from the field of history. Political science was institutionalized as a separate department in the 1850s, while sociology formed as a discipline in the 1890s. They developed as teaching fields. Chicano studies are different. The area came about because of student activism. They did not evolve from a single discipline, but as a multidisciplinary area of inquiry. Because of student pressure, it received departmental status overnight. Thus collectively the disparate disciplines bypassed the transition from teaching fields of study to research fields. Unfortunately, because of this rapid developent, the area's teaching mission got lost, which is understandable. In academe teaching and its outcomes are low on the totem pole.
In higher education, content courses do not, as a rule, teach students to read and write. They shun the label remedial. But because of the inequality of the American educational system, aside from teaching content, Chicano studies were often used to develop student skills. Academe was challenged by this proposition. This supposedly was the job of the K-12 people. The. notion of teaching students clashed with the culture of academe. This culture conflict was compounded by the fact that university professors are the worst teachers in the world. (They ain't Mr. Chips.) Research has always reigned as king of the mountain in academe. When I was suing the University of California, Santa Barbara, I remember reviewing promotion files for comparables. I ran across a file of a well-known environmental history professor who had been denied a step promotion by the environment and history departments' review committees on the grounds that he had three sexual harassment charges pending against him. A Committee of Renowned History Professors met and overrode the recommendations of the two review committees, finding that the professor was a prolific writer who had an outstanding publication record. Thus, he was a good "citizen." In academe, pedagogy is for the education people-content for the hard disciplines.
Early on, Chicano studies professors had to defend the legitimacy of the area. Because professors within the area of study were in disciplines that required a Ph.D., this became the norm for Chicano studies. They adhered to the canons of the discipline instead of Chicano studies. In contrast, a majority of education professors had Ed.D.'s that focused on educational
* Professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, California State University, Northridge. This selection is excerpted from Rodolfo F. Acuna, In The Trenches Of Academe (forthcoming).
practice and the application of theory and research. This was much more in line with the canons of Chicano studies. At California State University, Northridge (CSUN), where I teach, professors in the content fields are not permitted to teach pedagogy, and the education people are not permitted to teach content courses such as history.
As Chicano studies faculty members assimilated into academe, they forgot that Educational Opportunity Programs (EOPs)lcame before Chicano studies; that the area was built out of struggle. Thus, they adopted many of academe's elitist attitudes. This was a radical departure from the original purpose of establishing Chicano studies, which was to teach Chicano students and to empower them. This is disappointing since, in the beginning, we were much more in synch with the educational objectives of programs such as bilingual education and the aspirations of students who knew that the system was collectively failing them. Somehow pedagogy got lost in the shuffle from Mexican American studies to Chicano studies. With the entrance of larger numbers of Chicano students into graduate schools, there was a subtle break with the Mexican American generation and the Chicano student demands of the late 1960s. In retrospect, theory seduced the new generation of scholars as they followed one fad after another in search of a personal identity. At the time, much of this turned me off because I had been exposed to scholasticism under the Jesuits and to courses such as epistemology and cosmology that were merely reconfigured to support dogma.
The developing area of Chicano studies broke from this teaching-first tradition, and as more Chicanos entered graduate school, they replaced high school teachers who had formed the backbone of many Chicano studies programs. TheNational Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) was established in 1976.2 It evolved out of a caucus at the Southwestern Social Science Association held in San Antonio, Texas, led by Chicano faculty and students active in the American Sociological Association, American Anthropological Association, and the American Political ScienceAssociation. In its history statement, NACCS states:
"Since its inception NACCS has encouraged research, which is critical and reaffirms the political actualization of Chicanas/os. NACCS rejects mainstream research, which promotes an integrationist perspective that emphasizesconsensus, assimilation, and legitimization of societal institutions. NACCS promotes research
J Cf Sharon S. Lee, The De-Minoritization of Asian Americans, 15 ASIAN AM. L.J. 129, 132-33 (2008) ("In the 1960s, [University of California] administratorsbecame concerned with increasing enrollment rates of low-income and minority students. To that end, Educational Opportunity Programs ("EOPs"), consisting mainly of community outreach, junior high school recruitment, and tutoring for enrolled college students were initiated in 1964 and implemented on all [University of California] campuses by 1968. These efforts targeted disadvantaged students, especially racial minorities." (footnotes omitted)).
2 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies, History of NACCS, http: www. naccs.org/naccslHistory-EN.asp (last visited Feb. 25, 2009). The organization was originally called the National Caucus of Chicano Social Scientists, and has undergone several name changes since.
that directly confronts structures of inequality based on class, race and gender privileges in U.S. society."
I may have missed it, but I could not find the word "pedagogy" on the NACCS website, and over the years that I have attended NACCS conventions, there have been few workshops on how to teach Chicano studies to students.
This is not to say that every member of NACCS is unconcerned with pedagogy and that there are not good teachers amongus-especially at the community colleges. But what I am arguing is that we changed as we became part of the academy and our value systems were corrupted. I remember visiting the University of Texas at Austin on a lecture tour arranged by Jose Angel Gutierrez who was raising money for his voluntarios program. When I arrived, I was put off by the lack of bondingbetween graduate students and Crystal City, which for us was one of the most important historical events of the decade.' I was even more put off when a student leader told me that the school's Center for Mexican American Studies would become the Harvard of the West-an intellectual foco.' Its emphasis was developing graduate students-the vanguard. My response was: that was not how student power was built. Undergraduates are more numerous, more needy, and more militant.
Elitism was not limited to Austin. In California, I remember a conference at Stanford University where I said that Chicano studies should stop worrying about scholarship and concentrate on getting students through college-even if it meant passing out degrees. One scholar did not speak to me for half a dozen years because of my hyperbole. Many of thescholars distinguished from educators-tuned me out. The point I was trying to make is that education is generational-that the children of the graduates, even if you want to call them ill-prepared students, would come back much better preparedthan their parents because they would have the knowledge that their parents attended college. Even today, I get the children of former students who dropped out after a semester asking me if I remembered their parents. It meant somethingto say my parents went to college.
But the academy seduces you. Makes you feel better than a community college teacher, than a high school teacher. If youare at a research institution, you are better if you are at a tier-one university than a tier-two or tierthree. Like Emesto Galarza used to say, one of the worst traits of the human species is their persistent need to peck down to feel better than. (Everyone needs a Mississippi.) This is especially true in academe where the hard sciences are better than the socialsciences, the social sciences better than humanities, and so on. I remember Mario Barrera telling me that historians
4 See generally Jose Angel Gutierrez, The Making Of A Chicano Militant: Lessons From Cristal (1998); Armando Navarro, The Cristal Experiment: A Chicano Struggle For Community Control (1998).
5 I found this presumptuous; a foco is a revolutionary cell.
were like the proletariat, that they extracted knowledge, whereas politicalscientists were like the bourgeoisie who crafted the raw materials."
A new generation of scholars saw Chicano studies as content fields which dealt with subject matter, not pedagogy. Thistrend accelerated with time. The lamentable thing was that, although the 1970s scholars dismissed pedagogy, they also sacrificed content by concentrating on theory-obsessed with making Chicano studies more academic, more scientific.These early scholars were social scientists who looked at other fields as soft.
The professionalization of Chicano studies scholars has changed the area of study. Fewer young scholars have publicschool teaching experience. Their own education has placed more emphasis on research, theory, and the philosophy of Chicano studies, and less on how to teach Chicano students. As mentioned, in the academy, pedagogy is the purview of the education people; the hard disciplines deal with the content fields. Hence, aside from the occasional genuflection to Paulo Freire," little attention was and is paid to Chicano studies as a pedagogical tool.
Note: most scholars are enthralled with Freire's theory rather than the application of his pedagogy. This is lamentable. The other day I ran across an interview with a sixteen-year-old Fremont High School" student, Mariela Martinez. She described the impact that Freire had on her: "What I remember most about [Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressedi was his theories of how oppressed people have to realize that they are oppressed first before they can liberate themselves. . . . I had never thought of things that way or that I was oppressed."? Mariela read Freire in the circumstance of a South Central Los Angeles leadership program. She related the theory to her activism:
Black and Brown people are always told that they are stupid so you grow up believing that you weren't meant to be anything. We believe we are born this way and that it is just our destiny. Then I realized that our schools and othersystems are instruments that make us think this way. IO
Why pedagogy fell through the cracks is understandable; in Mariela's words, "our schools and other systems areinstruments that make us think this way."
6 It is very easy to feel like you are one of the select. I went to Loyola High School, a Jesuit college prep school, where students felt that they were L.A.'s select. This attitude carried over into higher education where you felt that many of your colleagues could not have made it with the Jesuits.
7 See, e.g., Paulo Freire, Pedagogy Of The Oppressed (Myra Bergman Ramos trans., 30th anniversary ed., Continuum Int'I Publ'g Group Inc. 2003) (1970).
8 John C. Fremont High School is in South Central Los Angeles, California.
9 Mariela Martinez, “Breaking the Cycle of Oppression SCYEA Leadership Inspires Change, THE MOVEMENT (Community Coalition. for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment, L.A., Cal.), Fall 2007, at 6.
The truth be told, only a few of the early Chicano Ph.D.'s were themselves activists. They were the students with the best grades. In contrast, my generation, for the most part, was trained in pedagogy. Like most Ph.D.types, the new generation had very little training in the science of teaching. This is especially true of California, where the greatest number of Chicano studies programs were formed. In Texas, a division broke out between those with community experience and those nurtured by the universities. I would argue that the experiences of the post-1972 Chicano Ph.D.'s set the priorities for what would become the area of Chicano studies and had much more influence than people such as myself.
Mindful of the importance of pedagogy, in the first years, I preferred hiring former high school teachers who could teach skills using identity for motivation." Content specialization would take place in the upper division-once the students had acquired writing and analytical skills. Many students at the state universities enter college with combined SAT scores of 800. That is why we fought for a stake in the teaching of remedial classes. This arrangement worked well until the terminal degree became the union card and the new hires were not teachers-it was as if teaching was beneath them. For example, we hired no fewer than a half dozen instructors to teach English grammar. However, once they got tenure, they pressured the department to assign them literature or film classes." The why eclipsed the how.
During the first years, most of us taught lower division classes that gave us the opportunity to teach outside our disciplines. For example, I taught Chicano Culture, Mexican Literature in Translation, English Writing, Education and Social Institutions, Field Work in the Barrio, and a variety of other first- and second-year-level courses. Today we run six to seven sections per semester of Chicano history-so I teach two Chicano history classes and haven't taught outside my discipline in a dozen years. Before I retired, I taught four Chicano history classes per semester. Once upon a time, Chicano scholars outside Chicano studies departments never left their respective disciplines. However, today, even those in Chicano studies departments are teaching the discipline and not the child-to use Fentonian language. I would add that many minority scholars have dismissed the pragmatism of John Dewey, who I feel everyone should read.
As a consequence, students and professors on campus have become less political. Professionalism has produced the illusion of objectivity and promoted a false consciousness. I recall Ivan Illich, who in the early 1970s called for the annihilation of the schools and wrote:
Many students, especially those who are poor, intuitively know what the schools do for them. They school them to confuse process and substance. Once these become blurred, a new logic is
II My generation of teachers genuflected to John Dewey and his philosophy of teaching the whole child.
12 There are exceptions: Mary Pardo, one of our best-known faculty, voluntarily teaches at least one remedial writing class per semester.
here is, the better are the results; or, escalation leads to success. The pupil is thereby 'schooled' to confuse teaching withlearning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say somethingnew. His imagination is 'schooled' to accept service in place of value. Medical treatment is mistaken for health care, socialwork for the improvement of community life, police protection for safety, military poise for national security, the rat race for productive work. U
Unlike Mariela Martinez, most Chicano students are not pissed off. (You have to be pissed off to bring about radical change or a paradigm shift.) Students fail to bond with each other and blame themselves and others for their failures. (Thedo not want to be called victims.) Few Chicano professors have experienced the desprecios or racism that their fathers and mothers endured. Hence they have a hard time identifying with the narrative of their disciplines. Their courses lack what Fenton used to call inquiry; they assume that students accept their narratives."
Mindful of the importance of pedagogy, I have changed Occupied America from a monograph to a textbook format. IS This difference is important because textbooks establish the paradigms for the disciplines within the area of study. The highschool text, Land of the Free= was important because it challenged the established texts by including civil rights,minorities, and in some cases women. It sought not only to change the narrative but a discussion of that narrative. Inrevising Occupied America, I cut about 100 pages of narrative and included pedagogical tools such as timelines, links to maps, and other materials. In subsequent editions, I plan to concentrate even more on pedagogy while expanding the narrative.
The change in the focus of the book has come about by several circumstances. First is that we are on the third and fourth wave of Chicano studies scholars. Chicano students are different. And frankly, I don't think that these last two waves see or feel the urgency of racism or identity in the same way that the first two waves did. Learning about the past requires skills.I?
I have come to the conclusion that many Chicano studies scholars do not share my priorities. I have basically remained a teacher and do not take pride in being a professor. For the past three years , I have been experi-
13 Ivan Illich, Deschooling Society 9 (Pelican Books 1976) (1971). For the negative impact of professionalization, see Deschooling Society and Ivan Illich, Tools For Conviviality (1973) attacking the phenomenon of professionaIization of education. In 1961, Illich founded the Centro Intercultural de Documentaci6n (CIDOC, or Intercultural Documentation Center) at Cuernavaca, in Mexico. It attracted leftist intellectuals globally.
14 See Charles M. Flail, Jr. et aI., Inquiry into Inquiry: An Examination of the Fenton 11th Grade U.S. History Materials, 6 History Teacher. 169 (1973).
15 See Rodolfo F. Acuna, Occupied America: A History Of Chicanos (6th ed. 2007). 16 See John W. Caughey Et Al., Land Of The Free: A History Of The United States (1966).
17 For discussion of paradigm shifts see Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions (3d ed. 1996).
menting with an online class that has forced me to re-conceptualize Chicano history and communicate with students in different ways. Classroom professing has always been easy. I know the narrative and can go into a class and entertain. I have never used notes, and if I want, can keep them laughing. Online, classes take on other dimensions. CSUN has a large deaf-student population, so everything has to be written. So I have had to return to the basics and plan out the course, comprised of units and activities. I have dusted off Fenton and returned to inquiry. IS
In this context, Occupied America is a tool. For example, Chicano studies do not have the luxury of being an extension of grade school history as U:S. history does, exposing students to a reductive process. We have to cram in the study of a people into one class, generally at the university level. We teach students who are dimly aware of their past and future. The tragedy is that some students will become elementary and secondary school teachers, where they will repeat myths in U.S. History. For better or worse, we cannot escape our responsibility to teach students who can think for themselves and advocate for change. We can prepare students to teach the subject, but will they be prepared to teach the child?
|Palenque, Mexico, 800 AD.|
Timelines are important because they connect what happens to the consequences. For example, the Mexican American War occurred 1846-1848; one of the many consequences was a continuous migration or return of Mexicans to their former homeland. Causes often produce domino effects (more than one consequence). A timeline helps us to line up events, and relate them to the past. The following is a timeline of Latino history – mostly within the boundaries of the Euro-American nation. It helped the authors to conclude that to date there is no Latino history because of the lack of a Latino presence in the United States prior to 1980. Using the term Latino history also thwarts the development of the history and identity of other Latino groups within the United States. The timeline proves that the groups with the longest history within the United States are Mexicans who were invaded beginning in the 1820s, and Puerto Ricans whose territory was forcefully taken in 1898. The timeline is incomplete and readers are encouraged to email us and expand it.
(Citation: Rodolfo F. Acuña, Guadalupe Compeán, eds. Voices of the U.S. Latino Experience [Three Volumes]. p lvii. Westport: Greenwood, 2008, and Greenwood eBooks.)
1803 The Louisiana Purchase makes New Spain (Colonial Mexico) the neighbor of the United States and U.S. exploration of the area west of the Mississippi begins.
1810 In Mexico, Fr. Miguel Hidalgo issues the call for Mexican independence, beginning 11 years of warfare.
1819 Simón Bolívar, the great Latin American liberator, addresses the Congress of Angostura and expresses his vision of one Latin America strong enough to resist the encroachments of Europe and the United States.
Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819, in which Spain cedes Florida to the United States, is signed after years of border wars.
1821 Treaty of Córdova, in which Mexico gains independence from Spain, is signed on August 24.
A Congress of Central America declares independence from Spain on September 15.
Texas Gov. Antonio María Martínez authorizes Euro-American Stephen Austin to colonize 300 families in Texas. The Spanish originally made this grant to his father, Moses Austin, who died before completing the contract. Meanwhile, Texas, while still part of Mexico, gets its independence from Spain.
1823 In his December 2 speech to a joint session of Congress, U.S. President James Monroe declares that further European colonization in the Americas will not be permitted. The Monroe Doctrine serves as the justification for U.S. intervention in the hemisphere to this day.
1824 Mexico's Congress abolishes slave trade in Mexico.
1829 Mexican President Vicente Guerrero abolishes slavery.
1832 Former U.S. congressman Sam Houston arrives in Texas.
1836 White Texans and Mexican elites declare the independence of Texas on March 2.
Treaty of Velasco between Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna and Texas dissidents is signed on May 14 but never ratified by Mexico's Congress.
1845 President James Polk's December 2nd State of the Union Address blames Mexico for tensions between the two countries and makes public Polk's commitment to the expansion of the United States through the annexation of Texas, the Oregon territory, and the purchase of California.
1846 The Mexican-American War begins.
1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo forces Mexico to cede 52 percent of its territory to the United States. In return, the United States pays Mexico $15 million. Article V of the treaty establishes the boundary between both countries, pending a survey. The controversy over this treaty continues to the present.
Nearly 600 Mexicans are lynched in the Southwest from this year to 1928.
1849 Survey efforts to establish the border between Mexico and the United States as required by Article V of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo begin in San Diego.
1850 Clayton-Bulwer Treaty is signed by the United States and Great Britain, both rivals in colonizing Central America and particularly concerned over a proposed isthmian canal. Both agree not to attempt to gain exclusive control over the canal or Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Mosquito Coast, or any part of Central America.
1853 U.S. Senator Pierre Soulé's January 25 speech, “The Cuban Question,” heats up the rhetoric to take Cuba from Spain. Soulé and other expansionists are supported by southern interests.
The Gadsden Purchase is made on December 30 after heavy-handed U.S. tactics and threats that if not allowed to purchase southern Arizona and parts of New Mexico from Mexico, the United States will take this land. For $10 million, Mexican authorities cede 45,000 square miles of land—including the Mesilla Valley as well as use of the Gila River—to the United States.
1854 The Ostend Manifesto, a secret document written by U.S. diplomats instructing Senator Pierre Soulé to try to buy Cuba from Spain, is signed on October 18.
1856 Filibusterer William Walker overthrows the government of Nicaragua, gaining a foothold for slave interests.
1859 In South Texas, Juan Cortina rebels and is chased by the Texas Rangers, the U.S. Army, and local authorities for the next 15 years.
1868 On September 23, between 600 to 1000 men, mostly Puerto Rican–born, demand Puerto Rico's independence from Spain but their revolt fails.
The unsuccessful Ten Years War begins and is fought under the leadership of attorney Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, who issues the Grito de Yara proclaiming Cuban independence.
1875 Report of the Mexican Commission on the Northern Frontier Question is issued.
California social bandit Tiburcio Vásquez is executed for murder and his alleged outlaw activities.
Cuban cigarmakers strike in Florida for better work conditions and higher wages.
1876 La Ondina del Plata, an Argentine journal, publishes an article by María Eugenia Echenique on the emancipation of women. Echenique was among a group of feminist writers who were read throughout the Americas.
1877 Salt War over Euro-American monopoly of salt deposits near El Paso leads to Mexican American opposition and one of the largest white vigilante actions against Mexicans in Southwest history.
1880 Mexican Central Railroad links Mexico City to El Paso, accelerating migration to the United States.
1882 U.S. passage of Chinese Exclusion Act keeps Chinese from entering the United States for the next 10 years and is the first serious immigration ban in U.S. history. It was renewed in 1892 and again in 1902, when Congress moved to make the ban permanent. It remained in effect until 1965.
1890 Manifesto of the Las Vegas, New Mexico White Caps (Las Gorras Blancas) declares war on land encroachers who monopolize the land and water.
1894 The Alianza Hispano Americana, a mutual aid society, was founded by Tucson, Arizona, elites in response to the growing nativism against Mexicans. By 1932, this group boasted 11,000 members and was active in civil rights litigation.
1895 José Martí, Cuban poet and martyr for Cuban independence, leads the second Cuban War of Independence.
Border wars between Mexico and the United States intensify. Mexican American Victor Ochoa at El Paso is sentenced for violation of Neutrality Laws and leading revolutionary bands into Mexico.
1897 In re Ricardo Rodríguez holds that the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo considered Mexicans eligible for citizenship and entitled to full rights under the U.S. Constitution.
1898 Spanish-American War between Spain and the United States begins while Cubans are already fighting for their independence.
The Teller Amendment to the U.S. resolution of war with Spain stating that the United States claims it has no “intention to exercise sovereignty, jurisdiction, or control” over Cuba and resolves “to leave the government and control of the island to its people,” passes in Congress.
Treaty of Paris between the United States and Spain is signed. It excludes Puerto Ricans seeking independence from the bargaining table. The U.S. occupation of Puerto Rico begins.
1899 “The White Man's Burden,” by English poet Rudyard Kipling is published. It reinforces the concept that the United States is the custodian of Western civilization in the world, taking its blessings to less civilized peoples.
1900 U.S. Congress passes the Foraker Act that establishes the governing structure of Puerto Rico.
1901 Gregorio Cortez, a poor Mexican farm hand who shoots a sheriff who had shot his brother eludes Texas Rangers and law enforcement during a massive 10-day manhunt. He is immortalized in corridos (ballads) that tell of his bravery and vicariously identify with his success against the hated Texas Rangers.
1902 A revolution gives Panama independence from Colombia. Shortly afterward, Panama signs a treaty giving the United States the right to build a canal across the Panamanian isthmus.
1903 The Platt Amendment is signed and makes Cuba a U.S. protectorate.
Clifton-Morenci Strike pits 2,000 miners against the territorial militia, federal troops, and the Arizona Rangers.
1904 “To Roosevelt,” a poem by Nicaraguan Rubén Darío to Theodore Roosevelt, expresses anger at U.S. intervention and high handiness in Latin America.
1910 The Mexican Revolution pushes over 10 percent of Mexico's population to emigrate to the United States over the next decade.
1911 Primer Congreso Mexicanista, Verificado en Laredo, Texas, a congress of mutual aid societies, meets to discuss recent lynchings and violations of civil rights.
1912 New Mexico and Arizona are granted U.S. statehood due to an increase in their white population.
1914 The United States sends troops to Vera Cruz, Mexico, occupying it for six months over an incident that occurred when U.S. Marines were sent to this Mexican port under the pretext of preventing a German steamer from importing arms to Mexico. U.S. steamers bombard the port.
1915 Plan de San Diego calls for the uprising of people of color, the division of the United States among them, and the killing of white men.
1916 Gen. John Pershing leads an expedition into Mexico to hunt for Mexican revolutionary hero Pancho Villa, who had invaded Columbus, New Mexico, earlier that year.
1917 The Literacy Act requires immigrants pass a literacy test that keeps most Europeans from coming to the United States and increases U.S. demand for Mexican laborers.
Carmelita Torres, a 17-year-old Mexican maid, refuses to take a gas bath while crossing the border to work in El Paso. Her actions begin a riot as other Mexican women refuse to submit to this indignity.
The Jones-Shafroth Act (also known as the Jones Act for Puerto Rico or the 1917 amendments to the “Organic Act of Puerto Rico”) amends the Foraker Act to confer citizenship on Puerto Ricans.
Nearly 1,200 striking copper miners in Bisbee, Arizona, mostly Mexican, are rounded up, put on cattle cars, and dumped in the middle of the New
Mexican desert under the pretext that they were members of the radical Industrial Workers of the World and thus unpatriotic.
1918 Puerto Ricans, as U.S. citizens, are consequently subject to the military draft.
Large numbers of Mexican Americans serve in U.S. armed forces.
1920s U.S. intervention in Central America and the Caribbean affairs increases.
Americanization rises as almost 50 percent of U.S. public schools with Mexican American students are segregated during the decade.
1920 Mexican American sociologist Ernestine M. Alvarado makes a plea for mutual understanding among Mexican Americans and other Americans.
Protestant organizations challenge Catholic Church hegemony among Mexicans.
1921 The Immigration Act sets quotas for Europeans, excludes Asians, and denaturalizes U.S.-born women who marry noncitizens.
Economic recession prompts the deportation or repatriation to Mexico of thousands of Mexican workers.
1924 The Immigration Act of 1924 sets the policy of national origins, continues the exclusion of Asians, and reduces the number of immigrants by using the quota percentage from the 1890 Census instead of the 1910 Census. It supercedes the 1921 Immigration Act.
1925 Adolfo Romo v Tempe School District, the first U.S. desegregation case, is tried.
1927 Confederación de Uniones Obreras Mexicanas (Federation of Mexican Workers Union), CUOM, is founded in Los Angeles.
1928 Imperial Valley Worker's Union goes on strike in California.
1929 The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is organized in Texas.
Puerto Rican Luis Muñoz Marín rises to leadership, challenging the existing political parties. He would become the first democratically elected governor of the island in 1949.
The Great Depression begins.
Repatriation of between 600,000 and a million Mexicans, over 60 percent born in the United States, occurs between this year and 1936.
1930 Independent School Dist. v. Salvatierra (Texas), a discrimination case, is filed by the League of United Latin American Citizens. The appeal is dismissed and allows the school district to continue segregating migrant children because they start school late in the year. This policy only applies to Mexican Americans and not white migrant children.
The Lemon Grove segregation case in which Mexican American children were placed in a separate school in Lemon Grove, California, results in one of the first successful school desegregation court decisions in the history of the United States.
U.S. economist Victor S. Clark's Study of Puerto Rico gives a political, social, and economic portrait of the island and the conditions that were driving Puerto Rican emigration to the United States.
1933 Cotton pickers in California's San Joaquin Valley, 80 percent of whom are Mexican, take part in the largest agriculture strike in California history up to this date. Growers, assisted by police, shoot three strikers down in cold blood, starve nine infants to death, and beat and wound countless workers. The strike is broken by government intervention.
1935 The Chicago Defender comments on disturbance in the Puerto Rican section of Harlem, blaming uneven appropriation of relief to Harlem as compared to other parts of New York, unemployment, and poor housing conditions.
1936 Pedro Alibizu Campos, head of the Nationalist Party calling for independence for Puerto Rico, is convicted of trying to overthrow the U.S. government after widespread demonstrations the year before led to the killing of four nationalists and the attempted assassination of the U.S.-appointed governor of Puerto Rico.
1938 San Antonio pecan shellers, mostly Mexican women, numbering about 12,000, go on strike. During the three-month strike, shellers confront management and the San Antonio political establishment.
In Ponce, Puerto Rico, on July 25, police fire on demonstrators calling for the independence of Puerto Rico and protesting the arrest of nationalist leaders. Seventeen are killed.
1941 World War II begins. It brings huge changes to the hemisphere and to Latino groups in the United States.
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802, June 25, which calls for equal employment opportunities for minorities in an attempt to quiet African American charges of racism and blacks' threat to oppose the draft.
1942 Nearly two dozen Mexican youths are put on trial in the Sleepy Lagoon case. They are accused of causing the death of José Díaz, a Mexican American youth, in Los Angeles, California, and convicted on murder and lesser chargers in an emotionally charged trial. The case is sent back for a retrial on appeal.
The Bracero program (1942–1964) allows Mexican nationals to take temporary agricultural work in the United States. More than 4.5 million Mexican nationals are legally contracted under this program.
1943 The Zoot Suit Riots take place in Los Angeles. Cheered on by the police and the media, servicemen beat Mexican youths during the course of a week.
1947 Westminster School District of Orange County et al. v. Mendez et al. desegregates the Orange County, California, school district and ends de jure segregation of Mexican children.
1948 The body of U.S. Army Pvt. Felix Longoria is returned to Three Rivers, Texas. The town mortuary refuses to provide services because he is a Mexican American. Uproar swells the ranks of Hector García's American G.I. Forum. Longoria is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Puerto Rico's Gov. Luis Muñoz Marin institutes Operation Bootstrap to relieve the island's unemployment problem. As part of the program, tax exemptions are given to U.S. industry to exploit cheap labor.
1949 Helped by a massive voter registration drive spearheaded by the Community Service Organization (CSO), Edward R. Roybal is elected to the Los Angeles City Council. He is the first Mexican American since 1887 to win a seat on the Los Angeles City Council.
1950 Approximately 40,000 Puerto Ricans migrate to the mainland United States in this year.
Puerto Rican nationalist uprisings produce armed attacks in Puerto Rico led by Blanca Canales. At Blair House in Washington D.C., Puerto Rican nationalists attempt to assassinate U.S. President Harry Truman.
1952 Walter-McCarran Act passes, making it so anyone accused of voicing the wrong political opinions (i.e., communism) could be denied entry into the United States. Those already working in the United States, visiting, or seeking citizenship, could be deported. Naturalized citizens could be denaturalized and deported.
1953 Operation Wetback initiates massive sweeps of undocumented Mexican workers in the United States that continue until
1955 and result in the deportation of a million Mexicans a year.
1954 Puerto Rican Lolita Lebrón and other Puerto Rican nationalists stage and take part in a shootout in the rotunda of the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C., wounding five congressmen.
Hernandez v. Texas, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, upholds that Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States have equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. A Mexican had not been on a jury for over 25 years.
Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz is overthrown by a CIA-sponsored coup. Military dictators seize control and kill more than 200,000 Guatemalans to date. Guatemalan migration to the United States accelerates.
1959 Cuban leader Fidel Castro delivers “The Revolution Begins Now” speech signaling that the Cuban Revolution would not be sold out as it had in 1898 when Cuban leaders did not oppose U.S. intervention.
The first wave of Cuban immigration due to the revolution begins after tyrannical Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista is overthrown and many of his supporters leave the island—most migrating to the United States.
The Mexican American Political Association (MAPA) is organized in California.
1960 Viva Kennedy political clubs are established to attract Hispanics to vote for John F. Kennedy for U.S. president.
1961 Puerto Rican Antonia Pantoja organizes Aspira in New York City. The group is dedicated to empowering the Puerto Rican community.
Mexican American activist Henry B. González wins election to Congress from Texas.
1962 Farmworker leader César Chávez, along with Dolores Huerta and others, form the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA).
New Mexico preacher Reies López Tijerina drafts the first plan of the Alianza Federal de Mercedes to recover Spanish and Mexican land grants from the United States.
1963 Crystal City, Texas, revolts lead to Mexican American majority elected to the city council, led by Juan Cornejo, a local Teamsters Union business agent.
1965 New York City's Puerto Rican population exceeds 1 million, an increase from 700,000 in 1955 and 13,000 in 1945.
The Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC), a mostly Filipino union, strikes at Delano, California. They are joined by César Chávez and the NFWA.
U.S. Marines invade Santo Domingo to establish firm grip on the island. Working-class Dominican migration to the United States increases.
Puerto Rican nationalist Pedro Albizu Campos dies.
The Immigration Act of 1965 passes. This legislation changes U.S. immigration policy from national origins to family preferences. For the first time, Latin Americans are placed on a quota.
Voting Rights Act abolishes the poll tax on voting and ends de jure (not de facto) gerrymandering.
In a speech to the graduating class at Howard University, President Lyndon B. Johnson frames the concept underlying affirmative action.
1966 The Crusade for Justice is founded by boxer, poet, and activist Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales.
1967 The Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO) is founded at St. Mary's College in San Antonio, Texas.
1968 In Chicago, José “Cha Cha” Jiménez reorganizes the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican street gang, into a political and human rights organization.
The Los Angeles public school Blowouts demand equal education for Mexican Americans as students and some faculty walk out of class in a coordinated protest.
The Tlatelolco Massacre of Mexican students in Mexico City causes outrage among Chicano students in the United States.
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is founded to pursue civil rights cases.
La Hermandad Mexicana Nacional (Mexican National Brotherhood) founded in the early 1950s is organized in Los Angeles by Bert Corona and Soledad “Chole” Alatorre to organize undocumented immigrants.
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) is founded to organize disparate Latino organizations under one umbrella.
Bilingual Education Act, or Title VII, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) encourages instruction in English and multicultural awareness. It gives school districts the opportunity to provide bilingual education programs without violating segregation laws. It provides funding and resources.
1969 Denver Youth Conferences adopt a Chicano identity and the Plan Espiritual de Aztlán.
Plan of Santa Barbara unifies the movement for Chicano Studies in public colleges and universities and the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlán (MEChA) is founded.
1970 Texas activist José Angel Gutiérrez and MAYO volunteers take control of the Crystal City, Texas, Board of Education.
La Raza Unida Party (LRUP), a Chicano political party is established on January 17, 1970 at Campestre Hall in Crystal City, Texas.
On August 29, some 30,000 Chicanos demonstrate against the Vietnam War at Laguna Park in Los Angeles. A police riot kills three, among them journalist Rubén Salazar who is shot in the head with a tear gas projectile at close range while seated at the Silver Dollar Bar.
Cisneros v. Corpus Christi Independent School District is the first case to extend U.S. Supreme Court's Brown v. the Board of Education decision (1954) to Mexican Americans. It recognizes them as a minority group that could be and was frequently discriminated against.
The conspiracy case against Salvador B. Castro, a Los Angles teacher who led the Los Angeles School Blowout (1968) is dismissed.
1973 The government of Chilean President Salvador Allende is overthrown with the support of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
1974 The Chicana Research and Learning Center, the first research and service project in the nation founded and run by and for Mexican American women, is founded at the University Methodist Student Center in Austin, Texas.
Lau v. Nichols case determines that students not receiving special help in school due to their inability to speak English are entitled to this assistance under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that banned educational discrimination on the basis of national origin.
Communities Organized for Public Service (COPS), an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), is founded in San Antonio, Texas, to organize grassroots support in the west and south sides of the city.
1978 University of California Regents v. Bakke imposes limitations on affirmative action by claiming that affirmative action was unfair if it led to reverse discrimination. This has resulted in continual litigation led by Mexican American and Puerto Rican organizations.
1979 The overthrow of Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza starts civil wars throughout Central America and marks the beginning of mass migrations to the United States.
1980s Continued violence in Central America drives immigration to the United States.
1980 Roughly 125,000 people are allowed to leave Cuba from the port of Mariel. Called Marielitos, most head for the United States.
1986 Initiative Proposition 63, English as the Official Language of California, is passed with the support of nativist organizations.
Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 gives amnesty to undocumented Latinos.
1990 Janitors in the Century City (Los Angeles) high-rise commercial office area stage a three-week general strike for improved wages and benefits. Los Angeles police officers attack a group of 400 nonviolent demonstrators, injuring two dozen janitors and causing at least two miscarriages.
1992 The Salvadoran Peace Accords are signed, ending that country's civil war and setting up a mechanism for elections.
1993 United Farm Worker President César Chávez dies in Yuma, Arizona, on April 23.
1994 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the United States, Canada, and Mexico is implemented. It encourages the privatization of Mexico and the further demise of the subsistence farm, leading to a massive migration of peasants to Mexican cities and the United States.
Proposition 187, which denies illegal immigrants social services, health care, and public services, is overwhelmingly passed by California voters, penalizing undocumented residents.
1996 Mexican American union leader Miguel Contreras is elected executive secretary–treasurer of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor.
Proposition 209 amends the California Constitution to supposedly prohibit public institutions from discriminating on the basis of race, sex, or ethnicity. This is prompted by the California Civil Rights Initiative Campaign, which was designed to eliminate affirmative action. As a consequence, the number of African Americans college and university students in the state fell: at UCLA in 2006 there were only 100 first-year African American students admitted, down from 488 in 1996.
1998 Proposition 22, English for the Children, passes by an overwhelming majority. This initiative ends bilingual education in California's public schools.
2000 Massive protests against U.S. Navy bombardments of the Island of Vieques off the shore of Puerto Rico lead to arrests and harassment.
2002 Millionaire banker Antonio R. “Tony” Sánchez, Jr., runs unsuccessfully for governor of Texas.
2003 The Iraq War begins.
2004 Writer Gloria Anzaldúa dies prematurely of cancer. She authored Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza// (1987) and other important works on gender and homophobia.
2005 Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa is elected mayor of Los Angeles, becoming the first Mexican American mayor of the city since the start of U.S. rule.
2006 Millions protest nationally on May 1 in response to proposed legislation known as H.R. 4437 that would raise penalties for illegal immigration and classify unauthorized immigrants and anyone who helps them as felons.
2007 The U.S. Census Bureau says that Latinos were the largest minority group in the nation at 42.7 million—an increase of 1.3 million, 800,000 from natural increase (births minus deaths) and 500,000 from immigration. Latinos were 3.3 times more likely to be in prison than whites; 4.2 times more likely to be in prison for murder, and 5.8 times more likely to be in prison for felony drug crimes.
Can be accessed through Proquest at most University and College Libraries. Eighty-percent can be downloaded free of charge
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4. Mantler, Gordon Keith, Ph.D., “Black, brown, and poor: Martin Luther King Jr., the Poor People's Campaign, and its legacies,” Duke University, 2008, 474 pages; AAT 3297872
5. Jovel, Jennifer E., Ph.D., “Community college transfer: The role of social capital in the transfer process of Chicana/o students,” Stanford University, 2008, 349 pages; AAT 3332848
6. Akey, Lisa J., Ph.D., “Community canvas: The murals of Pilsen, a Chicago neighborhood,” Indiana University, 2008, 387 pages; AAT 3332471
7. Gonzales, Joseph Jason, Ph.D., “Complicated business: Chicanos, museums, and corporate sponsorship,” Temple University, 2008, 456 pages; AAT 3326333
8. Escobedo, John L., Ph.D., “ Dangerous crossroads: Mestizaje in the U.S. Latino/a imaginary,” Rice University, 2008, 197 pages; AAT 3309864
9. Montoya, Norma, M.A., "El Ambiente" (Ambience),” California State University, Long Beach, 2008, 13 pages; AAT 1455556
10. Camacho, Gabriel Rene, M.A., “El concepto de la frontera en el "Quijote" desde el punto de vista chicano,” The University of Texas at El Paso, 2008, 76 pages; AAT 1453846
11. Lodmer, Emily Joan, Ed.D., “In their own words: Factors leading to transfer as identified by ten resilient Latino community college students,” University of California, Los Angeles, 2008, 219 pages; AAT 3322023
12. Guerra, Ramon J., Ph.D., “Literature as witness: Testimonial aspects of Chicano self identity narratives,” The University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2008, 240 pages; AAT 3309212
13. Hernandez, Jose Angel, Ph.D., “Lost Mexico, forgotten Mexico, and Mexico beyond: A history of Mexican American colonization, 1836—1892,” The University of Chicago, 2008, 342 pages; AAT 3300435
14. Alberto, Lourdes, Ph.D., “Making racial subjects: Indigeneity and the politics of Chicano/a cultural production, Rice University, 2008, 171 pages; AAT 3309827 15.
15. Rodriguez, Lori Beth, Ph.D., “Mapping Tejana epistemologies: Contemporary (re)constructions of Tejana identity in literature, film and popular culture,’ The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008, 284 pages; AAT 3303917
16. Valdes, Patricia, Ph.D., “Mi voz, mi historia - my voice, my story: Portaitures of four Latina/Chicana undergraduate leaders from migrant farmworker backgrounds,” Gonzaga University, 2008, 361 pages; AAT 3311713
17. Azcona, Stevan Cesar, Ph.D., “Movements in Chicano music: Performing culture, performing politics, 1965—1979.”The University of Texas at Austin, 2008, 304 pages; AAT 3320607
18. Hamilton, Amy T., Ph.D., “Peregrinations: Walking the story, writing the path in Euro-American, Native American, and Chicano/Chicana literatures,” The University of Arizona, 2008, 287 pages; AAT 3303573
19. Alvarez Dickinson, Jennifer, Ph.D., “Pocho humor: Contemporary Chicano humor and the critique of American culture,” The University of New Mexico, 2008, 338 pages; AAT 3329454
20. Rodriguez, Elvia, M.A., “"Por la guerra de marinos y pachucos": The Zoot Suit Riots in the Spanish-language press,”California State University, Fresno, 2008, 90 pages; AAT 1460396
21. Gauthereau-Bryson, Lorena, M.A., “Revolution on the border: Conflicted loyalties and conflicting identities in "George Washington Gomez"’ Rice University, 2008, 94 pages; AAT 1455239
22. Fetta, Stephanie, Ph.D., “Shame and technologies of racialization in Chicana/o and Latina/o literatures,” University of California, Irvine, 2008, 212 pages; AAT 3334591
23. Gonzales, Trinidad, Ph.D., “The world of Mexico Texanos, Mexicanos and Mexico Americanos: Transnational and national identities in the Lower Rio Grande Valley during the last phase of United States colonization, 1900 to 1930,”University of Houston, 2008, 335 pages; AAT 3311735
24. Pedraza, Venetia June, Ph.D., “Third space Mestizaje as a critical approach to literature,” The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2008, 176 pages; AAT 3315977
25. Jardine, Jessica Jean, M.A., “Tracing a history: An exploration of contemporary Chicano art and artists,” University of Southern California, 2008, 26 pages; AAT
26. Behm, Nicholas Neiman, Ph.D., “Whiteness, white privilege, and three first-year composition guides to writing,”Arizona State University, 2008, 327 pages; AAT 3300660
|U at Albany SUNY|
Pedro A Caban. “Moving from the Margins to where? Three Decades of Latino/a Studies,” Latino Studies. Houndmills: Mar 2003. Vol. 1, Iss. 1; pg. 5
In the US higher education system Latino/a Studies is primarily practiced in three types of settings. As Enclaves Latino/a Studies are marginalized, underfunded academic units that are politically tolerated, but disparaged within their respective institutions. In the Transgressive setting, the units have acquired a degree of intellectual authority and political standing within their respective institutions. The third setting, Absorption, is characterized by an effort to absorb Latino Studies into American Studies or centers on race and ethnicity. The progression from Enclave to Absorption is not unilinear, and all three states of Latino Studies can be found in universities throughout the United States. However, the progression also denotes the academic evolution of Latino Studies, its continued relevance for students and the recognition that this emerging academic field has a role in the university's mission. How Latino/a Studies is positioned in the university will figure prominently in the future development of the field