Students will be given a variety of readings, both primary and secondary in order to accelerate their understanding of the Chicano movement through understanding economic actions taken by them and their consequences. These readings will focus on organizations like FLOC and LULAC and students should have a clear understanding of their goals, their results, and how they organized economically. Students will be looking at these readings as either homework assignments or in group-based discussions.
Additionally, students will be given a final video project assignment that will be done as a group. The idea behind this project is that by this point students have watched a variety of movies, documentaries and videos in their lifetime. The goal is to get students involved in explaining the economic outcomes of the Chicano movement through a medium they’re already familiar with and have some exposure to. Students will be given the proper materials, including a camera to film video and they will also have an opportunity in class to film a discussion that they can use as part of their film.
Grades 11-12 Reading Standards for Literacy in the Content Areas: History and Social Science [RCA-H]1
Key ideas and details
1. “Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole”
2. “Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.”
3. “Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where a text leaves matters uncertain.”
Craft and structure
4. “Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).”
5. “Analyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.”
6. “Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence.”
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7. “Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.”
8. “Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.”
9. “Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.”
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
10. “Independently and proficiently read and comprehend history/social studies texts exhibiting complexity appropriate for the grade/course”
Students will be looking at the economic outcomes associated with the Chicano Movement. By analyzing and understanding these factors, they will be able to understand the causes of these outcomes and how they impacted proponents of the movement.
• Did the Chicano movement create any changes in socioeconomic status for Latinos?
• Were there any other people affected that it wasn’t intended to effect, either for better or worse economically speaking?
• How much of a role did the federal government play in economic outcomes for Latinos, if any?
• How do these economic causes and consequences compare to other movements we’ve discussed (assuming we’ve looked at the Black Power, Asian American, and Native American movement)?
• How did LULAC and FLOC operate? Do you consider fundraising efforts a viable way of achieving economic output?
• Alambristas: “fence jumpers”
• Braceros: laborers
• Mojados: “wetbacks”
• jingoism: extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy
• Jeffersonian liberalism: advocates for civil liberties on the basis of rule of law with economic freedom being considered
FLOC, or the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, was developed in order to form strong unions of migrant and former workers and their families in order to demand improved farm working conditions and rights for farmworkers. A key economic characteristic of FLOC was that if someone had not paid all their dues, they could not receive any membership rights to FLOC. Economic efforts included fundraising, especially by women who organized garage sales and were able to raise twice the amount of money as their initial goal. Specific figures included Olvia Vargas, Cata Rodriguez, Sara Rios and Bev Osburn, who traveled to New York City in order to meet with the foundations who would fund them and address questions regarding the vision of FLOC. John Gaige was also another important member of FLOC. He was able to create a set of five proposals in order to raise funds for the organization. This included having raffles at meetings, monthly projects, organizing drives to raise funds anywhere from one to six weeks at a given time, monthly donations to FLOC, and the creation and distribution of fliers that included speakers and films that highlighted the efforts of the organization. This highlights a pattern found in movements and organizations that create a list of demands or proposals in order to achieve their goals.2
Capitalism was a highly contested issue at the time. At an earlier time in the U.S., Jeffersonian liberalism held onto the belief that small farms that ran by a landowner and his family were the base for bourgeois democracy. At the time of the Chicano movement, a widely held belief was that U.S. agriculture is derived from the family farm. However, there was a misconception that overlooked an important aspect of capitalism: the unavoidable wealth that would land into the hands of fewer and fewer capitalists. At the time, giant agricultural corporations used the latest mechanization and technology to achieve maximum output, which was far more economically advanced than the small farm. This was a growing issue of concern for organizers, as foreclosures were on the horizon and unpayable debt was happening. This costed the U.S. nearly $200 billion. Agriculture and its sister industries still remained the largest business for America, which made up nearly a fifth of the country’s $3.3 trillion GNP. With the overpowering force of agribusiness and the role agricultural wage laborers had, this made agricultural production a valuable working-class issue. Whether it was in the cotton fields and ranches in Texas or the fruit and vegetable farms southern California had to offer, agricultural output rested on the hands of people like braceros, alambristas, and mojados. The Chicano movement aimed to explore and understand the history of farmworker exploitation and the resistance they brought up until the beginning of World War II. Racism was essential for profits from the system of Black slavery in the South, which laid the base for Southern agriculture and Northeastern manufacturing. This parallels the very exploitation immigrants faced in order to make U.S. industries expand, including those who were agricultural workers during the time of the Chicano movement.3
• Deportation: The Immigration Service and the Chicano Labor Movement in the 1930s4
• American Civil Liberties Union Papers: Farm Labor Organizing Committees
• Choosing Issues, Choosing Sides: Constructing Identities in Mexican-American social movement organizations5
• Long History of Abuse6
• The Chicano Movement Speaks
• Brokerage, Economic Opportunity and the Growth of Ethnic Movements7
• The 1960s in America: Crash Course US History #40
• DSLR Cameras
• Hand out the Long History of Abuse article to the students and ask them to read and annotate any important key concepts or terms
• After they read the passage, organize the students into groups of 2 to 3 and have them discuss what they read
• Select a representative of each group to the front where they will all discuss on behalf of their group and the findings altogether
• For homework, students will write a 5-page essay discussing the findings of the article and an economic topic of interest for an upcoming final project
• Have students watch a YouTube video titled: The 1960s in America: Crash Course US History #40 (approximately 15 minutes long)
• Students will then discuss with their neighbor their thoughts on the video and any salient points they noticed
• Following this, we will reconvene as a group and the instructor will ask questions about the connections the Chicano movement and its economy had to the other movements discussed in the video
• Afterward, handout the “Chicano Movement Speaks” newspaper document from 1986. In groups of 4-5, have them take about 10 minutes to go through the newspaper and annotate it. Have the students discuss it amongst themselves afterward for about 5-7 minutes
• Once they’re done discussing, have the whole class reconvene and then ask them questions regarding the document
• For homework, students will need to start brainstorming their vision for a 5-10-minute video that they will film, edit, and publish to the classroom blog. The video will be a group project of 3-4 members where students will talk about the economics of the Chicano movement.
• For the video project, groups have been randomly assigned and students can take snippets from existing documentaries, videos, documents, etc. that they can cut and overlay on one another with a voiceover to create a final video.
• From this point on, it is expected that students will work on their video project in their assigned groups outside of class. They will have some opportunities to work on it in class.
• Students will spend the time in class in their assigned groups doing research on the economics of the Chicano movement
• The students should consider assigning roles and responsibilities to each group member so that each contributes equally to the video project
• At the end of class, students will be given materials to help them create their video project. One camera will be distributed to each group. Students will also have access to iMovie software at the Claremont Colleges Library should they choose to work from there
• For homework, students will be assigned two readings. The first is Choosing issues, choosing sides: constructing identities in Mexican-American social movement organizations. The second reading is the American Civil Liberties Union records on Farm labor organizing committees. They will analyze the creation and progress of organizations like the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) and their role in economic outcomes.
• Students will go around the room listing off 1’s and 2’s. If they’re a 1, they will be with other members and discussing LULAC. If they’re a 2, they will be discussing FLOC
• Amongst their assigned groups, have students discuss the findings from the assigned readings and anything that stood out to them. Each side will then talk about their findings in a whole class discussion.
• Have one student from each group film the discussion of the organizations. This footage will be made available online for the students to use as part of their final video project.
• For homework, they will be assigned the reading Deportation: the immigration service and the Chicano labor movement in the 1930s
• Students who filmed the discussion will be required to upload the footage to our class site via an MP4 format
• Students will spend the first half of class in their video project groups.
• Afterward, they will be reading Economic opportunity and the growth of ethnic movements. This article is especially important and can be a source of inspiration for the video projects
• While they’re still in their assigned video groups, have them discuss the article and anything noteworthy they think belongs in the video
• For their homework assignment, one student from the group will need to write a brief summary of their short film and what it will encompass. They should also list the sources they will be using as part of their video. This will be on a separate document of references. The references should also include any documentary footage or any other media they’ve borrowed, for that matter.
• Students will be uploading their finalized group video projects to the class site
Conway, David. “Liberalism, Classical.” The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism (2008): 295-298.
“The 1960s in America: Crash Course US History #40.” YouTube, CrashCourse, 6 Dec. 2013.
1 2018 History and Social Science Framework. Massachusetts Curriculum Framework, 2018
2 Labor: Farm Labor Organizing Committees; Newsletter. 1976. TS Years of Expansion, 1950- 1990: Series 3: Subject Files: Equality Before the Law, 1941-1987 Box 1136, Folder 10, Item 1007. Mudd Library, Princeton University. American Civil Liberties Union Papers, 1912-1990, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com.ccl.idm.oclc.org/tinyurl/9YJRf6. Accessed 21 Mar. 2019.
3 “The Chicano Movement Speaks.” Freedom Socialist, vol. 9, no. 3, 1986, p. 11+. Archives of Sexuality & Gender, http://tinyurl.galegroup.com.ccl.idm.oclc.org/tinyurl/9YJFQX. Accessed 21 Mar. 2019.
4 Dinwoodie, D. H. Deportation: The Immigration Service and the Chicano Labor Movement in the 1930s. New Mexico Historical Review, vol. 52, no. 3, 1977, pp. 193. ProQuest, http://ccl.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest- com.ccl.idm.oclc.org/docview/1301801786?accountid=10141.
5Marquez, Benjamin. “Choosing issues, choosing sides: constructing identities in Mexican- American social movement organizations.” Ethnic and racial studies 24.2 (2001): 218- 235. https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870020023427
6Forquer, Richard ‘Long History of Abuse’ (1966). The American Mosaic: The Latino American Experience, ABC-CLIO, 2019, http://latinoamerican2.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/1502262. Accessed 27 Mar. 2019.
7 Wells, Miriam J. “Brokerage, Economic Opportunity, and the Growth of Ethnic Movements.” Ethnology, vol. 18, no. 4, 1979, pp. 399. ProQuest, http://ccl.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ccl.idm.oclc.org/docview/1298058289?accountid=10141.