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Lesson

A People without a Place

Estoy Aquí: Music of the Chicano Movement / A People without a Place

After the Mexican-American War ended in 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo added 525,000 square miles to the United States territory (parts of modern-day Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming) and promised the large number of Mexican citizens who were living on that land at the time all rights and privileges afforded to American citizens . . . including the right to retain the property they owned. Unfortunately, these promises were often broken. Many Mexicans and Mexican Americans were forced off their land and left without a “place” to call home. The music you will encounter in this lesson will teach more about the Chicana/o community’s ongoing struggle to reclaim their rightful “place” in American society.

Lesson Components & Learning Objectives

  1. Remembering Displacement

    • Explain why many Chicano movement leaders, activists, artists, and authors attributed lasting negative consequences to the Mexican American community to the broken promises of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
    • 20+ minutes
  2. Resisting Displacement

    • Explain why Gregorio Cortez became a symbol of resistance to members of the Mexican American community.
    • Analyze and interpret music, considering the musical sounds themselves, the people who make, enjoy, and/or find the music meaningful and useful, and the historical/cultural context of the songs.
    • 25+ minutes
  3. Reclaiming "Place"

    • Perform a basic samba rhythm and explain/demonstrate the difference between the natural and harmonic minor scales.
    • Identify concrete and symbolic examples of the ways in which Chicana/os have reclaimed a place in American history and society.
    • 40+ minutes

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Bibliography

Text

Azcona, E. C., & Rodriguez, R. (2005). Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Liner notes]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Díaz, E. (2020). Fifty years ago, fed up with city’s neglect, a San Diego community rose up to create Chicano Park. Smithsonian Magazine.

Montoya, M. (2016). The Chicano movement for beginners. For Beginner Books.

Rodriguez, R. (2011). Imaginaries [Liner notes]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Rodriguez, R. (2016). Songs of struggle & hope, by Agustín Lira [Liner notes]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Rosales, F. A. (1996). Chicano! The history of the Mexican American civil rights movement. Arte Público Press.

Schippers, H. (2019). Connecting people, engaging communities. In The social power of music, p. 13–15. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Seeger, A. (2019). Songs of struggle. In The social power of music, p. 16–19. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Strachwitz, C. (1994). Corridos & tragedias de la frontera [Liner notes]. Arhoolie Records.

Audio*

Moreno, J. (1999). El corrido de Gregorio Cortéz [Audio recording]. On El fidelero del valle [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Los Pingüinos del Norte (2005). Gregorio Cortéz [Audio recording]. On Corridos de la frontera [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Lira, A. & Trio Alma (2016). Gregorio Cortez [Audio recording]. On Songs of struggle and hope [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Los Alacranes Mojados (2005). Chicano Park samba [Audio recording]. On Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Quetzal (2011). Estoy aquí [Audio recording]. On Imaginaries [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Video*

Lira, A., & Alma (2016). Quihubo, Raza [Video]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Featuring commentary by Agustín Lira and Patricia Wells Solórzano.

Quetzal (2012). "Estoy aquí (I Am Here)" [Behind the scenes documentary] [Video]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Featuring commentary by Quetzal Flores

Images*

Pich, T. (2016). Agustín Lira and Alma [Photograph]. In Songs of struggle and hope, by Agustín Lira [Cover art], cover design by Galen Lawson. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40567.

Freedman, J. (1968, printed 2017). Resurrection city: untitled [Photograph]. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC., 2017.81.8.

Rossin, R. (2013). Maya Angelou [Oil on canvas]. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of the Andrew J. Young Foundation, NPG.2014.2.

Lawson, G. (2016). Songs of struggle and hope, by Agustín Lira [Cover art]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Photograph by Tom Pich, SFW40567.

Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848) [Exchange copy]. In Perfected treaties, 1778–1945; Record Group 11 [Archival collection]. General Records of the United States Government, 1778–1992, National Archives, Washington, DC.

United States Geographical Survey (2009). Mexican cession in Mexican view [Map]. Obtained from an edition of the National Atlas of the United States. In Wikimedia Commons.

Lewis, J. (1966). Agustín Lira [Photograph]. In Songs of struggle and hope, by Agustín Lira [Liner notes], 2016, p. 18. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40567. Jon Lewis Photographs, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, © Yale University.

Unknown artist (n.d.). Courtroom [Digital graphic]. Public Domain Vectors.

Unknown artist (1968). Justice is our need... [Poster]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Courtesy of Clara Watkins, associated with Southern Christian Leadership Conference, PL.279881.2g.

Unknown artist (n.d.) Lion [Digital graphic]. Kindpng.

Papapishu (n.d.). Cricket [Digital image]. Wikimedia Commons, open clip art library. Donated by Pearson Scott Foresman.

Martinez, E. (1967). Tierra o muerte [Screen print on manila folder]. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of the artist, 1996.8.

Enriquez, G. (2016). Rudolfo Anaya [Acrylic on paper]. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Commission made possible through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, NPG.2016.100.

Unknown artist (2011). Chicano power flag of Aztlán [Flag]. Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by Wikimedia user Sukanara.

Unknown artist (ca. 1970s). Corky Gonzales [Photograph]. Denver Public Library Special Collections, Denver, CO, Z-8826.

Unknown artist (ca. 1800s). Juan Nepomuceno Cortina [Photograph]. Wikimedia Commons.

Unknown artist (1901). Gregorio Cortez [Cabinet card]. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, TX.

Carroll, J. (1969). Construction of San Diego-Coronado Bridge seen from Barrio Logan, San Diego [Photograph]. Coronado Public Library, Coronado, CA, CPL_Bridge_28.

McLean, L. (1969). Occupation of Chicano Park [Photograph]. Wikimedia Commons.

Ilandavid (n.d.). All the way to the bay mural in Chicano Park [Photograph]. Dreamstime.

Hart, R. (n.d.). Under the bridge at Chicano Park [Photograph]. ShotFromTheHart Studio, San Diego, CA.

Communication Visual (2005). Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Cover art, back]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Photograph of Flor del Pueblo courtesy of Eduardo Robledo, 1978, SFW40516.

Hart, R. (n.d.). Emiliano Zapata statue at Chicano Park [Photograph]. ShotFromTheHart Studio, San Diego, CA.

Unknown artist (ca. 1980s). Flag of Aztlan [Flag] Wikimedia Commons. Uploaded by Wikimedia user Sukanara.

de los Santos, N. (ca. 1979). Rally at the University of Texas Austin in the 1970s [Photograph]. In Chicano/a Art, Movimiento y Más en Austin, Tejas 1960s to 1980s[Exhibit], Mexican-Arte Museum, Austin, TX.

Cross, B. (2011). Quetzal [Photograph]. In Imaginaries [Liner notes], p. 24. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40563.

Chamberlin, K. W. (2011). Quetzal Flores [Photograph]. In The eternal getdown [Liner notes], p. 46. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40574.

*Audio, video, and images listed in order of appearance in slideshow