Identity In I Am Joaquin

1762 Words8 Pages
In 1967, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez wrote “I Am Joaquin,” a path breaking poem that helped shape an identity for thousands of Chicanas and Chicanos through its verses; and served as a key component in developing the Chicano Movement of the late 1960’s and 1970’s. During this time, the term Chicano was specific to Mexican Americans and the movement was very male centric. The term Chicano is key to the Chicano movement, but the definition of Chicano has evolved over time and I would argue continues to evolve. The Chicano movement excluded women as well other’s with similar struggles, like Central Americans who can also identify with this movement. The Chicano social identity should not exclude anyone, it should only expand; to all those of other…show more content…
They found the wealth they desired, but they also encountered a large indigenous population who they segregated and excluded during their rule (Lec. 2). Race was identified with inherited physical characteristics and gave terms to those of color; Spanish, black, indian, mestizo, mulatto, castizo, and morisco (Seed 573). The integration of castizo and mestizo was used as an attempt to preserve white exclusivity and maintain a boundary between white and mixed bloods (Seed 574). The lowest on the scale were indians who Spanish saw as nothing more than labor to grow their empire in the Americas (Lec 2). The Spanish used integration, exploitation and destruction based on the labor of indians to develop the northern frontier (Vargas 31). The Chicano movement rejected Eurocentric superiority and took pride with its indigenous roots, we identify with indigenous people (Lec. 2.) We identify with great civilizations like the Maya and the Aztecs. We come from great people of color, we are part of the indigenous population that built great civilizations, just look at the great Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc. Chicano identity teaches being indigenous is not something to not be ashamed of, but something to be proud of (Lec. 2). However, this does not make the Chicano identity exclusive to all, it was still male dominated and it focused on the indigenous ancestry from Mexico. The Spanish crown wanted to spread their religion during this time period and they did so through their priests. Priests used trickery, bribery, and force to achieve conversion to christianity (Vargas 3). The priests spread Catholicism, which teaches the concept of Machismo, where men are the dominant sex and superior to women. In the Chicano movement men still held this belief, they did not want the women to participate in the movement, and they told them to be loyalists (Lec. 5). Women were told they
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