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Lesson

Themes and Leaders of the Chicano Movement

Estoy Aquí: Music of the Chicano Movement / Themes and Leaders of the Chicano Movement

During the 1960s & 1970s, several leaders emerged as the most prominent faces of the Chicano movement. These leaders were important because they gave the movement a collective “voice”: They drew attention to social issues (related to discrimination, marginalization, and exploitation), united people within the Mexican American community, and inspired them to fight against injustice and for equal rights. In this lesson, actively engage with music that highlights the contributions of César Chávez, Reies López Tijerina, José Ángel Gutiérrez, and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales. In this lesson, you will learn about the causes these leaders were fighting for and consider the ways in which musicians helped to amplify and spread their messages.

Lesson Components & Learning Objectives

  1. Goals of the Chicano Movement Through Music

    • Identify several themes that were emphasized during the Chicano movement and explain the reasons why they were emphasized.
    • Demonstrate triple subdivision and rhythmic patterns in compound meter.
    • 15+ minutes
  2. The "Big Four": Leaders of the Chicano Movement

    • Identify several important people who emerged as leaders of different facets of the Chicano movement and describe their major contributions.
    • 20+ minutes
  3. "Soy del Pueblo": Demonstrating Solidarity through Music

    • Demonstrate (through performance) how music can be used to express solidarity with people in our communities.
    • 30+ minutes

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Bibliography

Text

Azcona, E. C. (2008). Movements in Chicano music: Performing culture, performing politics, 1965–1979 (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). The University of Texas at Austin.

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

Gonzales, R. (1972). Yo soy Joaquin/I am Joaquin. Bantam Books.

Martinez, B. (1973). Brotando del silencio: Breaking out of the silence, by Suni Paz [Liner notes]. Paredon Records.

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

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

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (n.d.). Suni Paz: Argentinian singer and songwriter. In Explore: Artist Spotlight.

Zettler, J. (2009). Corridos of the Chicano movement [Liner notes].  Arhoolie Records.

Audio*

Paz, S. (1973). Las condiciones (Our Demands) [Audio recording]. On Brotando del silencio: Breaking out of the silence [Album]. Paredon Records.

Fuentes, R. L. (2009). Corrido de César Chávez [Audio recording]. On Corridos of the Chicano movement [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Fuentes, R. L. (2009). Aztlán [Audio recording]. On Corridos of the Chicano movement [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Fuentes, R. L. (2009). Política en los barrios [Audio recording]. On Corridos of the Chicano movement [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Fuentes, R. L. (2009). Partida la Raza Unida [Audio recording]. On Corridos of the Chicano movement [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Flor del Pueblo. (2005). Soy del pueblo [Audio recording]. On Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Puebla, C. (1975). Soy del pueblo [Audio recording]. On Cuba: Songs for our America [Album]. Paredon Records.

Video*

Perez, H. (2019, July 23). Jose Angel Gutierrez recipient, 2019 United States Hispanic hero award [Video]. Rocket Productions.

Images*

Castillo, O. (1972). José Angel Gutiérrez, Reies López Tijerina, and Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez at the national convention of the Raza Unida Party [Photograph]. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 2013.51.12.

National Student Committee for Farm Workers. (n.d.). Join the boycott - don’t buy Gallo Wines [Poster]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Courtesy of Albert Louis Feldstein, 321648.29.

Cohen Cramer, S. (2006). Bandera mía: Songs of Argentina, by Suni Paz [Cover art]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Photograph by Daniel Sheehy, SFW40532.

Unknown artist (n.d.). Boycott Campbell’s Soup [Poster]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 1984.0796.105.

N.G. Slater Corporation (ca. 1973). Pinback button for the Chicago alliance against racist and political repression [Badge pin]. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of T. Rasul Murray, 2013.68.19.

United States Postal Service. (2003). Cesar E. Chavez [Postage stamp]. Illustrated by Robert Rodriguez. Displayed at the National Postal Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2003.2016.108. ©2003 United States Postal Service®. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.

Kernberger, K. (ca. 1967–1968). Reies López Tijerina [Photograph]. Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. From the Peter Nabokov collection, 000-093-0002.

Unknown artist (n.d.). Jose Angel Gutierrez [Photograph]. Denver Public Library Special Collections, Denver, CO, X-21628

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

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

Strachwitz, C. (1972). Rumel Fuentes [Photograph]. In Corridos of the Chicano movement [Cover art excerpt], Cover design by W. Pope, 2009. Arhoolie Records, El Cerrito, CA, ARH00507.

Lewis, J. (n.d.). César Chávez marches with the musicians. [Photograph]. In The Farmworker Movement Documentation Project, UC San Diego Library [Online exhibit]. Jon Lewis Photographs, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, © Yale University. Exhibit compiled and published by LeRoy Chatfield.

Unknown maker (20th Century). Güiro [Musical instrument]. In Teodoro Vidal collection of Puerto Rican history [Archival collection]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Teodoro Vidal, 1997.0097.1077.

Latin Percussion Inc. (1999). LP bongo drums [Musical instrument]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Transfer from Smithsonian Institution Center for Latino Initiatives (through: Dr. Refugio I. Rochin, Director), 2000.3039.15.

Unknown maker (ca. 1970). Claves, used by Mongo Santamaría [Musical instrument]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Nancy Santamaría, 2005.0030.06.

Remo Inc. (1999). Remo conga drums signed by Poncho Sánchez [Musical instrument]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Transfer from Smithsonian Institution Center for Latino Initiatives (through: Dr. Refugio I. Rochin, Director), 2000.3039.11.02.

Communication Visual (2005). Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Cover art]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Photograph of Flor del Pueblo courtesy of Eduardo Robledo,1976, SFW40516.

Dane, B. (1967). Carlos Puebla [Photograph]. In Cancion protesta [Liner notes], 1970, p. 5. Paredon Records, Brooklyn, NY, PAR01001.

Clyne, R. (1975). Carlos Puebla, Cuba: Songs for our America [Cover art]. Pardon Records, Brooklyn, NY. Album artwork by Mimi Rosenberg, PAR01018.

Communication Visual (2005). Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Cover art, back]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Photograph courtesy of Los Alacranes Mojados, ca. 1978, SFW40516.

Allied Printing Trades Council (1981). Solidarity day [Poster]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Anne B. Zill, 1986.0231.017.

*Audio, video, and images listed in order of slideshow sequence.