This article will assess information from a variety of sources to expand the knowledge on the impact of the Chicano movement in the 21st century. To begin there is some insight required to have a basic understanding of Jorge Mariscal’s “FOREWORD: THE CHICANO MOVEMENT Does Anyone Care about What Happened 45 Years Ago?” (Mariscal xi). The first thing being defining what exactly the Chicanx movement really was/is, the movement having roots going back as early as 1846. The 20th century is when the fight took a new form, in 1929 there were a couple of different organizations started such as the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund. Even till today, all the different groups have the same goal, that one goal being to make sure that all Mexican Americans have the same rights as their anglo counterparts.
The Chicano movement served as an extension of the Mexican-American civil rights movement that aimed at empowering Chicanos. Apart from civil rights, the Chicano movement was also concerned with re-establishing a Mexican ethnic identity. It started with the struggles of farm workers led by Dolores Huerta and César Chávez. In Mariscal's work he mentions many of the different accomplishments of the Chicano/Chicana movement such as the “founding of the United Farm Workers (UFW) and the Alianza Federal de Mercedes” (Mariscal xiii). Many of these feats are very commendable, however, that being said there is still change that needs to be made from the ongoing movement to further the progress of Mexican Americans; Mariscal himself makes many valid points. “An entire new generation of Chicana/Latino scholars/intellectuals came out of the movement. Professor Jorge Mariscal and I represent that generation in this volume. Some of the authors in this text represent the latest wave of Chicano historians, for example, but scholars who are building on the shoulders of those who came before. In addition, the movement forced the system to provide more opportunities in business careen, the law, the media, medicine, engineering, and other more skilled and technical positions. Furthermore, the movement created a whole generation of elected and appointed Chicano/Latina politicians and this has only further increased over time. In all, the movement helped to create a new and aspiring middle class, but one in many cases was still empowered by the ethos of the Chicano Movement and thus more demanding of the system” (Mariscal, 13).
Activism groups within the Hispanic community existed before the enactment of the actual Chicano movement. For instance, in the 1940s and 1950s, the Hispanic activist groups had won two noteworthy victories. The first was the case of Mendez versus the Westminster Supreme Court in the year 1947. This case was an essential predecessor to the Brown Versus Board of Education case. Within the same year (1954), Brown achieved another win for Hispanic communities at the supreme court; the case was Hernandez versus the city of Texas. This case came with the conclusion that the 14th amendment guaranteed the right for the protection of all racial groups in the United States. Between the 60s and 1970s, the Hispanics had managed to claim equal rights. They now wanted to have the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo revised, this treaty was relevant because it ended the Mexican-American war. America had already taken southwest cities, which were initially part of the Mexican territory.
During the era of civil rights, the Chicanos began making demands for this land. They wanted it to be given to Mexican Americans because it consisted of their ancestral land.
Mexicans might have acquired civil rights early in history, but they were not protected from the politics of de facto and de jure. Legally seen as white, but socially treated as ‘Mexicans.’
The Chicano movement played a central role in shaping the community dynamics of Hispanic populations in America and transforming both their politics and identity. The Chicano movement had various dimensions, a single organization couldn't manage all the agendas, approaches, tactics, objectives, and ideologies pursued by the Chicano/a activists.
Student and youth organizations were also paramount to the Chicano movement. The Raza Unida Party operated in Texas, this party was started with the hope of mobilizing Chicano voting power. The history of the Chicano movement is closely linked to Crystal City, Texas coincidentally where the party was established. Just as was the case with various schools in the united states, crystal city high school took to the streets in protest of educational reforms, civil rights, and Mexican American cultural identity. https://immigrationtounitedstates.org/415-chicano-movement.html
Soon, the Raza Unida Party became a considerable aspect of Chicano activism in the 1970s, in Texas as well as southern California. The voting power of Mexican Americans is still notable in modern American society. This is because the Chicano makes the most substantial part of marginalized populations in the united states. There are an estimated 58.9 million Hispanic people in the United States, comprising 18.1% of the population. https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/20/us/hispanics-in-the-u-s-
The Mexican American Legal Defense was formulated with the aim of protecting Chicano/a civil rights. The Mexican American Legal Defense was the first organization to have ever been created with the purpose of minority civil rights protection. In the year 1967 hundreds of Chicano/a activists gathered at Denver. During this meeting, the Spiritual Plan of Aztlan manifesto was initiated. The ideology behind this manifesto played out when the United Race (La Raza Unida) was formed. Although La Raza Unida is no longer a registered party of the united states, the legacy it created still shaped the role of Mexican Americans in the American political landscape.
However, the lack of political influence impeded the improvements intended by this movement. This established the Chicano as a noteworthy elective block. After President John F. Kennedy was sworn in as president, he showed his gratitude by offering the Chicano and other Hispanic groups positions within his governmental party. After acquiring political influence through President John F. Kennedy, the Chicano movement initiated their demands for education, labor reforms, and various other sectors. The Mexican American Legal Defense was formulated with the aim of protecting Chicano/a civil rights. The Mexican American Legal Defense was the first organization to have ever been created with the purpose of minority civil rights protection. In the year 1967 hundreds of Chicano/a activists gathered at Denver. During this meeting, the Spiritual Plan of Aztlan manifesto was initiated. The ideology behind this manifesto played out when the United Race (La Raza Unida) was formed. Although La Raza Unida is no longer a registered party of the united states, the legacy it created still shaped the role of Mexican Americans in the American political landscape.
Equally in modern society, students played central roles in implementing the agenda of the Chicano movement. In the year 1968, various members of the Mexican American Youth Association and the United Mexican American Students staged a walkabout from schools in the Los Angeles and Denver areas to protest the ban imposed against speaking Spanish, high dropout rates amid Chicano/a students, and Eurocentric curriculum. The two main organizations that were involved made an official list of demands. The demands being separated into different categories: such as academic, administrative, facilities, and most of all student rights.
It took some time, however, the groups that had participated in the walkout were finally successful in getting their demands met. These groups were successful because about a decade later, the United States Supreme Court and the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare acknowledged that it was unlawful to limit students who couldn’t express themselves in English from attending schooling.
For example, back before there was social media or any effective way to communicate to the masses two different student organizations planned and executed a walkout estimated to be around 15,000 students across many different high schools in East Los Angeles, California. If this were to happen today, there would be some serious changes being made. The issue with that previous statement is that even though the world is much more connected because of the internet, such an event is unlikely to happen because of the attitude of the modern generation.
There is, however, a query over the success of the movement in giving the Chicano identity.
This question needs scholarly attention as it is essential to ascertain the importance of the Chicano movement. The peak of the resurged Chicano movement was experienced in 1994 when students from various schools in the united states took to the streets in protest of California’s anti-immigrant Proposition 187. “As noted time and time again there have been examples of students and youth calling out for social change. Fast-forward to 2014 and we see troubling conditions for Spanish-speaking communities that remind us of the pre-Movement period. Rather than elaborating upon the details of the new anti-Latino racism-the disproportionate impact of the housing crisis on Latinos, mass deportations, a still broken K-12 system, reduced access to higher education, the hyper-militarization of the border, and so onI will simply say 'Arizona' and assume that most readers understand that there are ominous clouds threatening the future for Latinos in the United States” (Mariscal, xii).