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The Making of a Chicano Militant

Overview

    Texas, for years, was a one-party state controlled by white democrats. In 1962, a young eighteen-year-old heard the first rumblings of Chicano community organization in the barrios of Cristal. The rumor in the town was that five Mexican Americans were going to run for all five seats on the city council. But first, poor citizens had to find a way to pay the $1.75 poll tax. Money had to be raised—through bake sales of tamales, cake walks, and dances. So began the political activism of José ...

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Overview

    Texas, for years, was a one-party state controlled by white democrats. In 1962, a young eighteen-year-old heard the first rumblings of Chicano community organization in the barrios of Cristal. The rumor in the town was that five Mexican Americans were going to run for all five seats on the city council. But first, poor citizens had to find a way to pay the $1.75 poll tax. Money had to be raised—through bake sales of tamales, cake walks, and dances. So began the political activism of José Angel Gutiérrez.
    Gutiérrez's autobiography, The Making of a Chicano Militant, is the first insider's view of the important political and social events within the Mexican American communities in South Texas during the 1960s and 1970s. A controversial and dynamic political figure during the height of the Chicano movement, Gutiérrez offers an absorbing personal account of his life at the forefront of the Mexican-American civil rights movement—first as a Chicano and then as a militant.
    Gutiérrez traces the racial, ethnic, economic, and social prejudices facing Chicanos with powerful scenes from his own life: his first summer job as a tortilla maker at the age of eleven, his racially motivated kidnapping as a teenager, and his coming of age in the face of discrimination as a radical organizer in college and graduate school. When Gutiérrez finally returned to Cristal, he helped form the Mexican American Youth Organization and, subsequently the Raza Unida Party to confront issues of ethnic intolerance in his community. His story is soon to be a classic in the developing literature of Mexican American leaders.

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What People Are Saying

Genaro Padilla
One of the monumental narratives of the Chicano movement.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

José Angel Gutiérrez is founder and former director of the Center for Mexican American Studies and associate professor of political science at the University of Texas at Arlington. He is also a lawyer with a practice in Dallas, Texas.
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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface
1 Introduction 3
2 Aztlan: The Chicano Homeland 15
3 The Education of a Chicano 45
4 Los Cinco Candidatos 62
5 Texas A & I 78
6 MAYO 97
7 Conditions and Preparations for El "Walkout" 122
8 The Thirty-Ninth MAYO Walkout: A Diary 142
9 The MAYO Plan for Aztlan 177
10 Ciudadanos Unidos: The Base 193
11 Chicano School and City Governance 202
12 El Partido National de La Raza Unida 215
13 Chicano County Governance 242
14 Exile to Oregon 267
15 The Return to Texas 288
Appendix FBI Documents 307
Index 317
Titles in Wisconsin Studies in Autobiography 333
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