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Chicane came the Chicane Movement, also known as II Environment. Because to be Chicane meant you were in De aqua in De all, neither from here nor from there. To be Chicane meant you were a citizen of the United States struggling for equality as a Mexican-American. El Movement was mainly caused by hope of better equality in education and political representation. “Chicanes were trapped at the bottom of the educational ladder in a system that ignored distorted and degraded their culture, heritage, language and history” (Lillian).

Wanting a better future in education, Chicanes hoped to fix the high drop out rate that was badgering the Los Angels Schools. In order to fully understand, it is vital to point out the importance of education for Chicane youth not only during the heart of the movement, but its evolution and how its importance is still relevant today. One of the basic propositions for the mixture of the Chicane Movement was economic change and the only way to achieve that was through driving home the importance of education for all Chicane youth.

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In order to get a better understanding of the educational difficulty, a brief history of the movement would give a better perspective for a richer understanding of what exactly the Chicane youth were asking for. Before the U. S. Supreme Court outlawed school desegregation in the Brown v. Board of Education decision of 1945, California Chicanes had challenged educational discrimination” (Five Views). This Supreme Court Case banned schools from segregating students based on their skin color and was called unconstitutional. Racism and segregation pierced through the heart of Los Angels in the 196(Yes.

Because of these issues, thousands of innocent students lived with the consequences. Many students felt obligated to drop- out because they felt unimportant. Also, the school environment was in very ad condition as well as the student’s materials and textbooks. Tired of being deprived Of their education, many individuals took dramatic actions. “Chicane activist Sal Castro, student leader Paula Criticism, college student Mastectomies Spares, and groups such as United Mexican American Students (MUMS) and the Brown Berets, developed thirty-six demands to bring to the Board of Education.

These goals included bilingual, bacterial education, Latino teachers and administration, smaller class sizes, better facilities and the revision of textbooks to include Mexican American history’ (Global Nonviolent). Thus, awareness was essential to correct these issues which resulted in students taking their educational issues publicly in the year 1967 through 1968. Wanting their voices heard, a vast majority of students unified in efforts to be taken more seriously. “Nearly 10,000 walked out of five overwhelmingly Chicane/o and Mexican/o schools in East Los Angels during the first week of March 1968” (Lillian 184).

The Educational Issues Coordinating Committee was born when a group of activists decided they have had enough. Their primary function was to consult the student’s needs and educational reform on a more effective fashion. The ICC decided to arrange a meeting with the education board where they would have the chance to present their desired educational reforms. “The group’s primary concern was to receive an amnesty for all the students who were involved in the walk outs” (Global Nonviolent). But in order to really get anywhere, one must first conduct gatherings.

For example, in order to really promote a new proposition, there must be a number of meetings between the individuals in charge. From there, one can begin making assumptions or decisions for an agreement. The ICC figured that in order to make progress, further concussion must take place. As both sides discussed, everything seemed to be moving swell as it appeared that both sides had reached an agreement that pleased all. Satisfied temporally, the students who participated in walk outs gave their word to the education board that they will return to class with no longer disruptions.

However, the board of education stated that they had no money; Foley cited a lack of funds to follow through” (Global Nonviolent). The costs of these reforms were just too high and putting them into effect would cost so much money. This excuse prevented the school district from bringing onto play the promised educational reforms that the ICC wanted. Furious with what the educational board had to say, the students abandoned the meeting. Adding insult to injury, just two days later many students were arrested for protesting. On March 31 , thirteen of the walkout organizers were arrested for conspiracy to disturb schools and the peace, a felony charge” (Global Nonviolent). The police ended up releasing these individuals later that day because it was getting to be very problematic with the public. Although many students felt disillusioned by the original demands, there was a reason for hope after all. The board did begin to recruit and hire more Chicane teachers and administration” (Global Nonviolent). Slowly, but surely, a change was starting to take place in education.

The hiring of these individuals was only the beginning Of a new Start. It shined a light Of hope that pleased Chicanes for the time being. So the next question becomes, why was educational reform such an important issue within the Chicane movement? In order to answer this question one must first come to a certain understanding. As presented earlier, the environment the Chicane was in was steep in segregation and racism. “She would say… You little Mexicans, you better learn and pay attention. This class is very important… Most of you are going to be cooking and cleaning for other people”‘ (Marquee).

These were the harsh words of an economic professor towards her Chicane student, Artist Pathos Valued. Majority of the white community believed that Mexicans were only good for labor jobs. They believed that giving Mexicans an education was a waste of time. As presented on the above quote, professors would teach in a very sarcastic manner. Evidently, racism was effecting Chicane youth even in the classrooms. Prior to the 1 968 walkouts, whites had abandoned the inner city for the surrounding suburbs. “In cities like Los Angels, Denver, Phoenix, San Jose, and Houston large scale defector school segregation took hold like never before.

Before, their population was rarely large enough to dominate elementary, middle-school and high school enrollments as they did by the 196(Yes and thereafter. Moreover, with white flight school funding Was diverted to institutions in the suburbs at the expense of urban core schools, which by now were stigmatize as minority institutions” (Rosalie, Chi. 10). This created a separation leaving minorities in ghettos and barrios. This type of segregation affected those left in the ghettos and barrios who of course, majority was of Hispanic origin. Overall, all these injustices followed to the classrooms where they continued to worsen.

To add insult to injury, all the high paying jobs were also moving to suburban areas. This added to the poverty of the neighborhood, also known as the barrio effect. Not to mention, law enforcement became very aggressive and tensions began to rise. “Law enforcement abuses had transformed them from moderate reformers into visually distinctive and combative crusaders on behalf of justice for Chicanes. (Castanets). Not only did this anger the protestors even more, but now they were at a point where they fought violence with violence. The youth, now more than ever, started to ban together as an outcry for education reform.

With education being at the forefront of issues, they started to look for an identity that was rooted in politics and education reform. As a result of this type of segregation, the Chicane youth began to feel imprisoned. The main problem was that schools were not meeting the needs of the students. Looking for ways to improve education was not even a priority, and practically nonexistent. Another major problem was simply the way of thinking and how many perceived the Chicane youth. For example, the popular thought of the day was that they are just Mexicans; what do they need and education for?

Thus, these “Mexican” schools served more as a detention center until they either dropped out or got cheap labor jobs. From elementary to high school, teacher Of all levels showed biased attitudes towards all Mexican-American students. Remedial classes, who were usually assigned to those students with learning disabilities, were given to many Mexican students who did not fall into that bevel. General racial disparities also added to friction and disregard in the schools. The fundamental problem was detachment of the board of education addressing the drop out rate in Los Angels schools.

As mentioned earlier, schools were lacked the capacity of creating a solid educational curricula that inspired for real educational goals and professional careers. The Chicane movement brought to light that education is a stepping stone to solidifying a strong sense of identity. Most importantly, education has the power to break the stereotypes that denounced and haunted Mexican- Americans. The issues also brought proposed solutions such as; a curriculum that incorporated Mexican-American history to help drive home the importance of self identity.

Once this is achieved, then; “Chicane/Latino kids can then go on to a full academic curriculum where they are encouraged to go to college and to become professionals who also give back to their communities” (Garcia). This also shows that Mexican-Americans are indeed part of the American background. Unfortunately some of these issues still exist today, such as a lack of curriculum that focuses on the specifics Of what t is to be Chicane in the United States (despite the fact that Chicane studies is offered as a major in most universities).

There have been some improvements though; there are now more Chicane youth attending schools as well as Chicane teachers pushing the Chicane educational agenda. But as in the 1 ass’s, budgets to meet this agenda is still an issue and schools that are in the inner city usually still do not get the funding they need. In other words, this portion of the Chicane Movement never disappeared; it just turned into a more seasoned identity. Today, many school districts continue o struggle with budget cuts and money issues in general. However, the difficulty of the populace demands renewed to the days of old.

An awakening of the community, if you will, to enlighten the new generation that the education struggle is not over and that further change is needed maybe not for current generations but for future ones. That being said, it takes courage to stand for what is not only right, but also to ensure that the future is secure. “They struggled for other Chicanes that they didn’t even know. What this means to me is that courage and dedication is central to bringing about hanged, and this is what the blowouts and the Chicane Movement represented and perhaps this is still an example for today’s students and others” (Garcia).

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