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Covering the Chicano Movement: Examining Chicano Activism Through Chicano, American, African American, and Spanish-Language Periodicals, 1965-1973


From the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s, people of Mexican descent mobilized in pursuit for civil rights. This activism was the Chicano Movement. In California, the Movement's major campaigns consisted of the Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers' struggles for labor rights; the 1968 school blow-outs, coordinated by Chicano students in Los Angeles protesting a broken educational system; and the National Chicano Moratorium, led my Rosalio Muñoz, which opposed Chicanos' participation in the Vietnam War. To keep abreast of developments and further the Movement's agenda, Chicanos established their own periodicals. Activists also maintained Chicano publications were needed because the mainstream press was racist and did not accurately depict the Movement. This claim opened a research path to examine how other periodicals covered the Chicano Movement in California. This study examines how Chicano activism was reported in the Chicano, African American, and Spanish language presses as well as local and national American publications. Looking at the Movement through these distinct lenses sheds light on the unique position people of Mexican ancestry hold in the United States -a people suspended between two cultures- and how other ethnic groups understood/or misunderstood the Chicano community.

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