The History of Mexican-Americans Explored Through Film Essay

The History of Mexican-Americans Explored Through Film Essay

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The History of Mexican-Americans Explored Through Film

The hardships that Mexican-Americans have faced started well before Reies Lopez Tijierina and Corky Gonzalaz led the Chicano movement in the sixties, and well before the Coronado Bridge was built in San Diego. It started with the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hilago. The treaty signed in 1848 by the United States and Mexico established new boarders between the two countries. This treaty forever changed the lives of Mexicans then and still today. When the United States gained control of the land in the Southwest all the Mexicans that had been living there became citizens of the U.S. The land that had once been theirs, the land that they had grown up on the their great grandparents had grown up on was now being taken by the U.S. government. Felix Gutierrez, a fourth generation Californian, sums up the feelings of Mexican-Americans best when he said, "My great grandfather didn’t cross the boarder, the boarder crossed him." (interview with Jorge Quiroga)

Around the time that the Cold War started to heat up Reies Lopez Tijerina started to fight back for the land of Tierra Amarilla. It was once land that had once belonged to Amarlla, and had sold for 200 dollars and some horses, and Tijierina said it was time to take it back. The film Chicano! shows that with this one defining act Tijerina spearheaded the Chicano movement. The word Chicano which means "poorest of the poor" spread like wild fire throughout the Mexican-American community in the Southwest. Chicanos saw what Dr. Martin Luther King was doing for the African Americans and they realized that they were also victims of labor, education and even military discrimination.

Tijierina’s argument and desire for change had been ba...

... middle of paper ...

... Chicano! takes an in depth and vivid look at the Chicano movement led by Tijerina and Corky and how the two of those men have instilled an everlasting fight for equal rights in the Mexican-American community. The web sight Chicano Park tells the history of the Coronado Bridge and exhibits the murals in the park. These murals are the testimony for the Mexican-American’s struggle for equal rights in the United States. In reading Zack’s paper, he makes a good point that in the school systems students never really learn about this part of our history. I agree and also think that if students had learned this, the Chicano movement would benefit. Parker also makes a good point that projects like Chicano Park are very good for the Mexican communities. I feel that public places that represents a people’s history and struggle, help brings that community together and stronger.

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