Chicano Movement Cesar Chavez


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The movement started small in Colorado yet spread across the states becoming a worldwide movement for equality. While there are many poets who helped carry out the movement, Corky Gonzales was able to spread the Chicano issues worldwide through “The Plan Espiritual de Aztlán. ” This manifesto advocated Chicano Nationalism and self-determination for Mexican Americans. In March 1969 it was adopted by the First National Chicano Liberation Youth Conference based in Colorado. Adolfo Ortega says, “In its core as well as its fringes, the Chicano Movement verged on strivings for economic, social, and political equality. ” This was a simple message that any ordinary person could relate to and want to strive for in their daily lives. Whether someone was talented or not they wanted to help spread the political message in their own way. While majority of the group consisted of Mexican-Americans many people of other nationalities wanted to help the movement. This helped moved the movement from the fringes into the more mainstream political establishment. The “Political Establishment” typically consisted of the dominant group or elite that holds power or authority in a nation. Many successful organizations were formed such as the Mexican American Youth Organization(MAYO). Mayo was established to fight for Civil rights of Mexican Americans. During the early 1960s in Texas many Mexican-Americans were treated like second class citizens and discriminated against. While progress has been made for equality Immigrants even to this day are still a target of misunderstanding and fear. Chicano Poetry was a safe way for political messages to spread without fear of being targeted for by speaking out. Politically, the movement was also broken off into sections like chicanismo. ”Chicanismo meant to some Chicanos dignity, self respect, pride, uniqueness, and a feeling of a cultural rebirth. ” Mexican-Americans wanted to embrace the color of their skin instead of it being something to be ashamed of. Many Mexican-Americans unfortunately had it engrained on them through society that it was better socially and economically to act “White” or “Normal. ” The movement wanted to break that mindset and embrace who they were and be loud and proud of it. A lot of people in the movement thought it was acceptable to speak Spanish to one another and not be ashamed of not being fluent in English. The movement encouraged to not only discus tradition with other Mexican-Americans but others not within the movement. America was a land of immigrants not just for the social and economically accepted people. The movement made it a point not to exclude others of other cultures but to bring them into the fold to make everyone understanding of one another. While America was new for many people of Latin descent it was important to celebrate what made them who they were as a culture. Entertainment was powerful tool to spread their political message inside and out of their social circles in America. Chicanismo might not be discussed frequently in the mainstream media but the main points of the movement are: self-respect, pride, and cultural rebirth.