Mi Raza Primero! (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978

By Ernesto Chávez | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
“Those Times of Revolution”

Where did it go? Can we say we know? Those times of revolution. Our time of revolution.

Los Lobos, “Revolution”

More than thirty years after it began, the phenomenon known as the Chicano Movement remains an enigma in U. S. history. Was it a “revolution, ” as Los Lobos tell us, or was it more in line with the reformist activism pursued by the so-called Mexican-American generation? When compared to the Cuban Revolution, the African liberation struggles, student uprisings in France, Mexico and Czechoslovakia, and the Black Power movement, the Chicano insurgency pales. Rather than simply probing its revolutionary or reformist attributes, this study is guided by Frederick Jameson's suggestion to “situate the emergence of … new 'collective identities' or 'subjects of history' in the historical situation which made the emergence possible. ” 1

The roots of the Chicano movement, indeed of all Mexican-American political and social experience can be found in the nineteenth century. Mexican Americans are a product of the U. S. –Mexico War of 1846–48. One of the key outcomes of that conflict was the granting of American citizenship to the residents of the ceded Mexican lands. Yet, as David G. Gutiérrez has argued in Walls and Mirrors: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the Politics of Ethnicity, this moment of inclusion created

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Mi Raza Primero! (My People First!): Nationalism, Identity, and Insurgency in the Chicano Movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Illustrations xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction - Those Times of Revolution 1
  • 1 - Los Angeles's Ethnic Mexican Community in the 1950s and Early 1960s 9
  • 2 - The Brown Berets 42
  • 3 - The Chicano Moratorium Committee 61
  • 4 - La Raza Unida Party 80
  • 5 - The Centro De Acción Social Autónomo (Casa) 98
  • Afterword - Why Are We Not Marching like in the '70s? 117
  • Notes 121
  • Bibliography 149
  • Index 159
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