In the barrios of Los Angeles, Chicano youth founded the Brown Berets in 1967, modeled after the Black Panther Party. The organization concentrated on combatting police brutality and fighting racism but some chapters also demanded education, job, and housing equality. By 1969, there were 29 chapters mostly in California but units also formed in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington. When the Brown Berets were disbanded by Prime Minister David Sanchez in 1972, a total of 36 chapters had been established primarily near college and university campuses. Sources below. The maps are hosted by Tableau Public and may take a few seconds to respond. If slow, refresh the page.
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Sources: “Brown Beret Units,” La Causa. May 23, 1969.
Chavez, Ernesto. Creating Aztlan: The Chicano movement in Los Angeles, 1966-1978. Doctoral Dissertation. University of California, Los Angeles, 1994.
Correa, Jennifer G. Chicano Nationalism: The Brown Berets and Legal Social Control. Masters Degree. Texas A&M University, Kingsville, Texas, July 2006.
Espinoza, Dionne E. Pedagogies of Nationalism and Gender: Cultural Resistance in Selected Representational Practices of Chicana/o Movement Activists, 1967-1972. Doctoral Dissertation. Cornell University, May 1996. Fox, Rona Maria F. The Brown Berets: A Participant Observation Study of Social Action in the School of Los Angeles. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Southern California, January 1970.
Menchaca, Martha. The Mexican Outsiders a Community History of Marginalization and Discrimination in California. 1st ed. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1995.
Montejano, David. Quixote's Soldiers. University of Texas Press, 2010.
LULAC has represented Mexican Americans since 1929, making it the nation's oldest surviving Latino civil rights organization. Founded in Corpus Christi in 1929, LULAC expanded first in Texas. Victory in a precedent-setting 1945 lawsuit challenging segregation of Mexican American students in Orange County, California, helped the organization grow. By 1977, LULAC had chapters in 21 states.
When ethnic Mexican farm workers led by Cesar Chavez joined with Filipino American workers led by Larry Itliong in 1965 to strike grape growers in Delano, California, the modern farm workers' movement was born. Here we map more than 1000 strike actions, boycotts, and other UFW related events showing the movement's support across the United States and Canada.
Chicano students began to organize on college campuses in the late 1960s, forming organizations with various names. In 1969 most of these organizations merged forming El Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano/a de Aztlan (MEChA). MEChA spread in stages and as of 2012 claimed more than 500 chapters.
Following the so-called “Chicano takeover” of Crystal City’s school board and city council in 1970, activists launched Raza Unida Party, running candidates in local and state elections in Texas and several other states. These maps show the growth and decline of RUP chapters and electoral campaigns.
Scholars have paid some attention to the geography of Chicano activism but not in the detail that now becomes possible with the maps this project provides. This essay offers important observations while introducing the key organizations of the Chicano movement.