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Teaching about the Chicano Movement

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Cultures +4 Age Level Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

This collection gathers resources and artifacts pertaining to the Chicano Movement of the post-WWII era. The following paragraphs, from the Educating Change website, briefly define the movement:

The "Chicano Movement" has been used by historians to describe a moment of ethnic empowerment and protest among Americans of Mexican descent beginning in the 1960s. "Chicano" had long existed as a pejorative term among young Mexican Americans prior to this period. By the 1960s, however, young Mexican Americans embraced the label, reinscribing it with notions of pride in ones' Mexican heritage and defiance against institutions and individuals who practiced or condoned discrimination against Mexicans.

The "movement" or movimiento was really a convergence of multiple movements that historians have broken down into at least four components: [1] A youth movement represented in the struggle against discrimination in schools and the anti-war movement; [2] the farmworkers movement; [3] the movement for political empowerment, most notably in the formation of La Raza Unida Party; and [4] the struggle for control and ownership over "homelands" in the US Southwest (http://www.brown.edu/Research/Coachella/chicano.ht...). We will add an additional component of [5] creating art and music to reflect and voice cultural pride.

Students will review the collection here and identify five items that connect to one of the components listed above. They will then create their own collection that acts as a digital exhibit, teaching others about the Chicano Movement. This assignment is described in further detail on the last resource in this collection.

This is a work-in-progress based on the digitized materials within the Smithsonian Learning Lab's collection--it is not meant to be wholly definitive or authoritative.

"La Tierra Nueva en Aztlán"

National Museum of American History

The Return to Aztlan

National Portrait Gallery

Short-Handled Hoe, 1950s and 1960s

National Museum of American History

Braceros Working with Short-Handled Hoes

National Museum of American History

Cesar Chavez's Union Jacket

National Museum of American History

César Chávez

National Portrait Gallery

Dolores Huerta

National Portrait Gallery

César Chávez

National Portrait Gallery

Poster, United Farm Workers

National Museum of American History

César Chávez at Safeway Boycott in Los Angeles

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Cookbook for Protestors, 1970s

National Museum of American History

Dolores Huerta

National Portrait Gallery

Plywood panel from a mural at Resurrection City

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Vela de Pancho Villa

National Museum of American History

El Teatro campesino, viva la huelga!

Smithsonian American Art Museum

El Teatro Campesino Fundraiser

Archives of American Art

41c Mendez v. Westminster single

National Postal Museum

La Causa: The Delano Grape Strike (part 1)

National Museum of American History

"Tierra o Muerte"

National Museum of American History

Man with flag (Washington, D.C.)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Sun Mad

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Raza

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Bracero Hat, about 1957

National Museum of American History

Teatro Campesino Poster

National Museum of American History

Felipe Luciano

National Portrait Gallery