Social Movement Essay: Chicano/a Movement


  1. The 1960’s and 1970’s saw the emergence of four Social Movements of Historically Underrepresented Groups in the United States. Analyze Chicano/a Movement and their position in America’s “master narrative.” Identify, analyze, and interpret the important contents, aspirations, consequences, collective goals and critique. In your answer, please provide the historical context of the period, i.e., the global context of a possible Revolution (both home and abroad), as well as describing the role the State played in these efforts.
  2. The essay only includes the sources given below. No other readings/films are necessary. The critiques of the movement are in the sources: “El Grito del Norte” and the Film “Chicano! Taking Back the Schools.”
  3. Give your essay a title. In general, your essay should have a thesis–a central organizing theme based on the question. Normally, this thesis is presented as clearly as possible in the introduction to your essay, often in the first paragraph. The body of the essay should consist of a series of paragraphs, each headed by a topic sentence, that develop some aspect of your thesis. Finally, complete your essay with a concluding paragraph. In writing an historical essay using primary sources, balance your approach by choosing one or two brief examples to support each of your general observations. If you choose to quote (you should not feel forced to use quotes), do not quote long passages, but rather pick out the essential aspect of the quote. If you quote, introduce the passage by giving it some context. After the quote, cite the source and page number of the quote in parentheses. For example: Judge Diego Delgadillo referred to Spanish women as valuable commodities when he wrote to a merchant in Seville: “So if you are to send any merchandise, let it be women, which is the best business now in this country, and don’t worry about her.” (Letters and People, p. 202) You may use the same example above by paraphrasing the passage, perhaps quoting the key words to emphasize the main point, and then citing the source. For example: Judge Delgadillo referred to Spanish women as commodities in demand when he wrote to a merchant in Seville that women would be the best “merchandise” to send from Spain, and that the supply of eligible women was the best “business” in Mexico. (L&P, p. 202) If you do quote, focus on passages from the primary sources. The purpose of this assignment is to interpret writings of the past in your own words. Do not let quotes do the talking for you, but rather use them to illustrate your own ideas.