The Chicano Movement, The Los Angeles School Walkouts Of 1968 Essay

The Chicano Movement, The Los Angeles School Walkouts Of 1968 Essay

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This brings us to an important and, one would say pivot, event in the Chicano movement, the Los Angeles school walkouts of 1968. For historian Michael Soldatenko, “Students and the East Los Angeles community transformed the immediate struggle for educational rights into practices that disrupted the institutional imaginary and postulated a second order based on self-determination and participatory democracy.” Although “Mexican Schools” were unconstitutional under the Mendez v. Westminster case, the superintendent and Board of Education were determined in defending the districts ' policies. According to their school board meeting minutes from September 12, 1946, they made no promises to desegregate, but focused most of their attention on Fred Ross, a field worker for the American Council, who sought that the ruling was carried out. According to them, Ross was “antagonistic and belligerent” in his quest to every Mexican-American parent in Santa Ana to send their children to any school of their choice. If the children were not enrolled, according to Ross, the district “would be cited for contempt.” However, the district continued their disgruntled attitude in an attempt to avoid starting a full desegregation plan. In March 1968, Chicano students decided to take a stand against the growing injustices that their community were still being subjected to and staged school walkouts across Los Angeles area. Some 20,000 students, both at the high school and college level, took to the streets to not just to walk out, but to organize and fight for what they believed they deserved as a community. For one, students wanted to address the fact that schools teaching a Eurocentric curriculum that largely ignored or denied Mexican-American history a...


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...s to built upon and help expand. The reforms they fought for helped tremendously, as Chicanos saw more opportunities to succeed but the work is was not done, by any means, as Latinos still struggle with educational attainment among other races, like whites and African Americans. To say the least, the Chicano Movement started made it possible for Latinos, not just Chicanos to enter the national political system for the first time, and gave Chicano activists a platform that they can keep improving. While the movement sought many revolutionary radical ideas, like reclamation of Aztlan, it was responsible of many meaningful reforms that effect Latinos till this day. It was able to adapted and changed to better serve the needs and wants of its people and most importantly, it established and promoted a new empowering ethnic consciousness that was not there prior to 1960s.

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