The Case for Chicano Studies


Our Lady of the Lake University

According to the Ethnic Studies Department of the University of California in Berkeley, the study of Chicanismo covers the decolonization and liberation projects of U.S. Latinx and their allies in the civil rights, gender, and sexual liberation movements of the 1960s that continue through the present in new forms that address new conditions.

The Chicano Movement contributed to the ending of underlying segregation in schools in the 60s with walkouts protesting for brown students to be treated the same as the majority white students. It gave resilience to the once silent, poorly treated migrant workers who were led by César Chávez.

Soon, the protest resulted in the creation of NFWA, the National Farm Workers Association. Separately, Chicanos exposed Americans to Zoot Suiters, who were being brutally abused by white Navy men and police. These events, including many more, lead to the impact and importance of Chicano Studies for many Americans with Mexican roots.

In San Antonio, Our Lady of the Lake University offers one of the very few Chicano Studies programs in America. This is what I will be studying after high school. It is vital that Mexican-Americans like myself continue to study our culture so we become aware of the history in order to not repeat it.

The number of hardships that Mexican-Americans endured has been told in limited amounts in US History, World History, and Geography classes. Chicano history is seemingly looked over in mainstream classrooms unless someone takes a Chicano Studies course. Chicano’s history should be taught in the classrooms along with other historical events. The challenge these Chicanos took on are not Mexican accomplishments, but American ones too.

As Texans, especially in San Antonio, we live in a culture where the majority of the population is made up of Chicanos. Yet, they are still marginalized by being stereotyped and called uneducated. A part of that problem may be that Chicano youth are not being taught their people’s history. It’s not just Mexican history being ignored in the classrooms, but rather an excerpt of American history. It’s vital for Chicanos to be educated about the men and women who battled brutality and segregation that represent the life Mexican Americans are now living.