Chicana/o Studies: The Legacy of a Movement, the Forging of a Discipline

Chicana/o Studies: The Legacy of a Movement, the Forging of a Discipline


-[Rudy Acuña] I was son of immigrants, my father’s from Jalisco, my mother’s from Sonora. -[Antonia Castañeda] I’m a Tejana, I was born in Texas. There was history that we learned sitting around the table, but there was no reflection of it in the books, at all. -[Albert Camarillo] My family was the first family out of the barrio to send someone to college. There were 44 Mexican-Americans out of, I think 28,000 students at that time. -[Ramón Saldivar] I had always grown up in an environment where you know, 90% of the people around me were just like me, to going to UT Austin. There’s no other way to put it, it was like being transported to an alien world. -[Mario Garcia] I never had a Mexican-American professor period, either as an undergraduate or as
an MA student. -[Antonia Castañeda] Disparaging stereotypes of Mexicans were ever-present. -[David Montejano] When Mexicans
or Mexican Americans were mentioned in in Texas historiography it was always
cast in terms of either criminal, revolutionary, bandit. -[Ramón Saldivar] This was a time when, you know, ethnic studies simply were not yet institutional practice. -[Albert Camarillo] Juan Gomez
Quinones who, really is one of the pioneers, I told him I really want to know
more about Chicano history. He says all right, let’s send you in to East LA let’s go, you go interview those people. I’m just sucked in, right. Ah man, the first time I’ve ever had an opportunity to know something about the group from which I’m a part, right? -[Mario Garcia] That year, I would say ’69, ’70, I became Chicano.
movement created Chicano Studies without I became Chicano. The movement created Chicano studies. Without the movement, we wouldn’t be around. It wasn’t that the Chancellor here all a sudden woke up one morning and said oh, it would be great to have Chicano Studies. That came as a result of protests and demonstrations. -[Antonia Castañeda] This is the
era of the walkouts across California, in Texas. -[Rudy Acuña] They accomplished in those walkouts more than we did in the previous 20 years. -[Albert Camarillo] You couldn’t have one
without the other. Right, you had to have a social movement tied to an ethnic identity a renaissance if you will. -[Ramón Saldivar] It was a generational flowering. There were scores of people like me, now pushing the boundaries of what constituted elements of the American experience. -[Albert Camarillo] It was absolutely
essential that the Chicana experience be embedded in every aspect of Chicano Studies. -[Antonia Castañeda] It was a lifeline. To finally put together my experiences. -[Mario Garcia] When we started we knew so little and look where we are now. We know so much more about the Chicano Latino experience. -[Albert Camarillo] Chicano Studies has
allowed us to see a diversity in the American experience, where my generation growing up in public schools, had no inkling of whatsoever. -[Mario Garcia] For a time when our democracy, I believe, is in danger we need to know those stories again to
empower our students, empower our communities. This is still in many ways but part of the beginning

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