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Lesson

Estoy Aquí: Music of the Chicano Movement
¡Yo soy Chicano! Exploring Cultural Identity through Music
Estoy Aquí: Music of the Chicano Movement / ¡Yo soy Chicano! Exploring Cultural Identity through Music

What is Chicana/o? . . . It’s complicated! Sometimes this term is simply used to describe people with Mexican heritage who are living in the United States. However, its true meaning is much more complex and deeply personal. The term Chicana/o is a celebration! It is a way for people to express the pride they feel about this part of their identity. In this lesson you will delve into the complexities of cultural identity, engaging with several “anthems” that were written during the time of the Chicano movement. Then, you will have a chance to choose and reflect upon an anthem that celebrates and reaffirms one aspect of your own cultural identity.

Lesson Components & Learning Objectives

  1. What Is Chicano?

    • Identify textual and musical clues about Chicana/o identity
    • Identify the typical instrumentation of música norteña
    • 25–30 minutes
  2. What Was the Chicano Movement?

    • Describe several rationales for the Chicano movement
    • 30–35 minutes
  3. Exploring Cultural Identity through Music

    • Use music to describe important aspects of your own cultural identity
    • Explore why certain songs became anthems for people who identified as Chicana/o during the Chicano Movement
    • Explain how music can celebrate/reaffirm cultural identity and serve as a symbol of cultural pride
    • 20–25 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.

Escobar, E. J. (1993). The dialectics of repression: The Los Angeles police department and the Chicano movement, 1968-1971. The Journal of American History, 79(4), 1483–1514.

Gonzalez, J. (2015, October 15). The big list of discussion strategies. Cult of Pedagogy.

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

Reading and Writing Haven (n.d.). 12 powerful discussion strategies to engage students. Reading and Writing Haven: A Blog for Educators.

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

Strachwitz, C. (1995). Chulas fronteras[Liner notes].  Arhoolie Records.

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

Audio*

Fuentes, R., & Los Pingüinos del Norte (1995). Chicano [Audio recording]. On Chulas fronteras & Del mero corazón [Album]. Arhoolie Records.

Conjunto Aztlan (2005). Yo soy tu hermano, yo soy Chicano [Audio recording]. On Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

Los Alvarados (2005). Yo soy Chicano [Audio recording]. On Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Album]. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, courtesy of Escuela Tlatelolco.

Video*

Blank, L., & Strachwitz, C. (1976). (Directors). Chulas fronteras [Film]. Les Blank Films.

Images*

Montoya, M. (1972). Yo soy Chicano [Screenprint on paper]. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Reprinted in collaboration with Dignidad Rebelde, 2013. Gift of Gilberto Cárdenas and Dolores García, 2019.51.1.

Silva, D. (n.d.). To Debbie, brown and proud [Drawing on cotton paño]. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC. Gift of A. Rudy Padilla, The Hourglass Prison Art Museum, 1998.126.10.

Dilts, D. (2009). United States - Mexico border stations. [Map]. In FamilySearch Wiki.

Hohner (ca. 2009). Hohner Corona II accordion signed by Flaco Jiménez. [Musical instrument]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Gilbert Reyes, Jr., 2015.0079.01.

Stewart, M. G. (2018). Max Baca with bajo sexto [Photograph]. In Cruzando borders [Liner notes], edited by D. Sheehy, p. 16. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40576.

Strachwitz, C. (1972). Rumel Fuentes [Photograph]. In Corridos of the Chicano movement [Liner notes], 2009, p. 2. Arhoolie Records, El Cerrito, CA, ARH00507.

Strachwitz, C. (2001). Los Pingüinos del Norte [Photograph]. In Trovadores de la frontera [Liner notes] p. 1. Arhoolie Records, El Cerrito, CA. Cover design by Wayne Pope/Epop Productions, ARH09024.

Custom Creations (2020). Chicano pride [Logo]. On Etsy.

Unknown artist (1983). Chicanos in California [Screenprint on paper]. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 1995.50.55.

Unknown artist (1968). Justice is our need . . . [Poster]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Clara Watkins, 279881.2g.

Platt Poster Company (ca. 1970s). Print with "Chicano Power" and "Viva La Raza" over a Mexican flag [Poster]. National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2014.252.

Tejeda, J. (1983). Conjunto Aztlan [Photograph]. In Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Liner notes], 2005, p. 28. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40516.

Montoya, M. (1973). Viet Nam/Aztlan [Offset lithograph on paper]. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Museum purchase through the Frank K. Ribelin Endowment, 2015.29.3.

Nadel, L. (1956). Braceros picking lettuce [Photograph]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 2004.0138.20.44.

Ramirez, M. (1975). MAYO march on University of Texas at Austin campus [Photograph]. In Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement[Liner notes], 2005, p. 5. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40516.

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.

Unknown artist (1968). Pinback button, poor people’s campaign [Badge pin]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Timothy D. W. Connelly in memory of Gordon Montgomery Connelly, 2003.0317.039.

Alvarado, F. M. (1973). Los Alvarados [Photograph]. In Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Liner notes], 2005, p. 10. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC. Courtesy of Emilia Alvarado, SFW40516.

Unknown artist (1988). Valor [Cotton paño]. National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Gift of Rudy Padilla, 1993.0150.06.

Segur, H. (1973). Protestors singing on the UFW picket line [Photograph]. In Rolas de Aztlán: Songs of the Chicano movement [Liner notes], 2005, p. 4. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC, SFW40516.

Cervantes, M. (2019). Between the leopard and the jaguar [Screenprint on paper]. In ¡Printing the revolution! The rise and impact of Chicano graphics, 1965 to now [Exhibition], printed by Dignidad Rebelde. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Museum purchase through the Samuel and Blanche Koffler Acquisition Fund, 2020.39.5.

Carrasco, B. (1999). Dolores Huerta [Screenprint on paper]. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. Acquisition made possible through the Smithsonian Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, NPG.2015.23.

Cross, B. (ca. 2011). Quetzal [Photograph]. In Imaginaries [Liner notes], p. 2. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, Washington, DC., SFW40563.

Sheehy, Daniel (ca. 2018). Childhood friends Carlos Samaniego and Natalia Melendez [Photograph]. In The world’s first LGBTQ mariachi [Online article], by Daniel Sheehy. Smithsonian Folklife Magazine, 2018. Smithsonian Center for Folklife & Cultural Heritage, Washington, DC.

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