The Chicana Movement

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The Chicana Movement: Liberation from Oppressive Structures
The Chicano student movement began in March of 1968, but it wasn’t until the east Chicano high school students walked out of their decrepit high schools and began to push for changes, that the movement really differentiated itself from the previous Mexican American attempts at achieving equality. These changes were radical to the dominant White – Anglo social structure that controlled many aspects of their lives. The ensuing police repression and brutality only further reinforced the new radical trend in student ideology. A year after the walk out in march 1969, the Crusade for Justice 1 civil rights organization held the National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference at its headquarters
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Chicanas sought to have their own conference in 1971 in Huston Texas 4. A result of the conference was the creation of the “Workshop Resolutions” which aimed to address and correct sexism in the Chicano Movement 5. This conference was meant to be a similar process of the Denver conference, but rather than creating a sense of unity and belonging as the Denver conference had, it left many Chicanas feeling conflicted and confused. This was largely in part to the opposition that they faced from the invisible male leadership that largely rejected their calls for a more feminist approach to the current…show more content…
Rodolfo Corky Gonzales wrote a poem on the Chicano identity in 1967 called “I am Joaquim” which was focused on the male experience 7. It included Chicano folk heroes, historical figures and religious icons and the poem continues to be a central expression of the Chicano identity with its message of hope. It pushes to stand proud and continue to resist the assimilation process and conformity with the Anglo American culture. Despite the poem’s centrality to the Chicanx movement, like the Chicano Civil Rights Movement was largely a male expression of Chicanx history, culture and activism. This poem, however, neglects the vital roles and contributions women held and neglects the Chicana mythology in the arts, community and historical resistance 8. On the bright side, new texts have emerged in recent decades such as Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza that has successfully began to fill the void and end the silence of Chicana women’s culture, history and activism
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