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During the time of the Chicano movement (late 1960s–1970s), people in the Mexican American community developed a deeper awareness of past oppression and bravely advocated for justice and equal rights. As activists and leaders like César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, Reies López Tijerina and Corky Gonzales fought for fair wages, safe working conditions, land rights, educational opportunities, and political representation, musicians documented history as it was happening––energizing political messages and lifting the spirits of strikers, marchers, and protestors. During this time, music provided a way for people to express their struggles and call for social change. This pathway celebrates songs and genres that emerged as symbols of cultural pride during the Chicano movement and highlights the Chicano community’s important contributions to the American story.

This Pathway was funded in part by the Smithsonian Youth Access Grants Program, with support from the Society for Ethnomusicology and the National Association for Music Education.

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