From the fields of the rich California farm lands to the gritty landscape of urban reality, there was a growing Movement in 1968 within the Mexican American community. Many Mexican Americans have felt at one time or another a foreigner, or an uninvited guest in the United States.
As the Civil Rights Movement lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. showed the world the strength of the African American spirit and capacity for organization and solidarity, The Mexican American community began to recognize their self worth and value in American society.
There was a growing consciousness that they did not sail across an ocean and establish themselves in a foreign land. The truth is they were always here, for thousands of years. This renewed sense of value translated into demands for equality and justice in the workplace, in the schools, in society. We see the establishment of the name Chicano to capture the renewed sense of pride and identity in the community.
Thanks to leaders like Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the fields and Rodolfo Gonzalez, Reis Lopez Tijerina and Bert Corona in the cities, we saw a renewed sense of value in the Latino Community spread across of the entire South West United States. With events like the 1968 United Mexican American Student�s Symposium at UCLA, and the work of activist and producer Moctezuma Esparza, the discouraged were given hope. This week on From the Vault, we�ll pay special tribute to those leaders and activists, in their own words.