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The Chicano Movement in Films and Literature

The discussion of the history of Mexican identity in the US is not possible without the mentioning of the Chicano movement. A series “Chicano! A History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement” provides an extensive overview of the movement, and the current paper will address the first episode of the series (“Chicano! – Quest for A Homeland.mp4”). This episode focuses on Reies Lopez Tijerina, who managed to inspire other people to fight for their rights. He is presented as a confident, passionate person with excellent communication skills, which made him a leader. Tijerina argued for the gaining for equal citizenship for Indohispanic people by drawing the community’s attention to the problem of discrimination. The movement was trying to participate in political actions and to strengthen their influence in the parliament addressing the issues of race and class at that time.

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There are many works devoted to this movement in the culture. One of the most famous poems is “Yo Soy Joaquin” by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales (5). The poem depicts not only personal but also the cultural and national feeling of what it was to citizens with indefinite present and future. The Chicano movement was a consequence of many events that had happened in history. The poem mentions some iconic happenings, such as the invasion and the dictator’s rule of Spain, the following War of Independence, and annexation of initially Mexican areas to the US. The history of the people who lived in Mexico is presented as a treasure, and Gonzales includes numerous outstanding persons in the poem. For example, there are references to Benito Juarez, who contributed to the defending of Independence of Mexico. Other people are a revolutionary Francisco Madero, a Roman Catholic saint Huan Diego, and a legendary heroic character, Joaquín Murrieta. Moreover, women have a unique role in the poem, and they are pictured as victims of the regime they have to survive. They are killed or enslaved by those who have more power. The moments when women are mentioned are diverse because the author names them as himself, as his wife, and, finally, as a united identity of men and women. The latter is to show that people of the author’s origin felt the same sorrow and anger regardless of their gender. Thus, “Yo Soy Joaquin” is a prominent representation of historical events from the perspective of the people who suffer from injustice.

Works Cited

“Chicano! – Quest For A Homeland.mp4.” YouTube uploaded by CaliforniaMexicoCtr, 2020.

Gonzales, Rodolfo. Yo Soy Joaquín/I am Joaquín. Bantam, 1972.

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StudyCorgi. "The Chicano Movement in Films and Literature." February 18, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-chicano-movement-in-films-and-literature/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Chicano Movement in Films and Literature." February 18, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-chicano-movement-in-films-and-literature/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'The Chicano Movement in Films and Literature'. 18 February.

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