CHICANO STUDENT ORGANIZATION

IN THE CENTRAL SAN JOAQUIN VALLEY

In the 1960s and 1970s, Chicano organizations flourished in Fresno; new chapters of national organizations and groups that responded to the unique conditions in the Valley. These Chicano groups fought for farm worker’s rights, political representation, women’s rights, and student concerns. Chicano student organizations  encouraged activism to improve economic and educational opportunities, and end discrimination. In this lesson, students will identify the concerns of Chicano youth organizations at Fresno State College and become familiar with the tactics they used to fight for their beliefs. Students will connect the activities of students at Fresno State to the events of the national Chicano Movement, such as the organization of the first National Chicano Youth Conference by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales at Denver in March 1969. Students will also be able to relate the activities of the local Chicano Movement to the ongoing struggle for social justice for Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants. 

This is designed as a local supplement to a broader foundational lesson.

Chicano marchers, circa 1968. George Ballis Photograph. Courtesy of Arte Americas.

LESSON AND PRIMARY SOURCES

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Chicano Student Organization in the Cent

LESSON PLAN - Chicano Student Organization in the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Fresno County Historical Society.

Arthur R. Tirado Oral HistoryArtist Name
00:00 / 18:00

Arthur R. Tirado Oral History, 18 minutes. 

Ethnic Oral History Project, 1977-1978, Fresno County Historical Society Archives.

La Causa – El Calendario Chicano 1974. La Causa Publications. Santa Barbara, California. Courtesy of Arte Americas.

Arturo Tirado Summary 2.jpg

Arturo Tirado Oral History Summary and Transcript

Ethnic Oral History Project, 1977-1978, Fresno County Historical Society Archives.

Nuestras Raices- front cover - pg 0.jpg

Lea Ybarra and Alex Saragoza. Nuestras Raíces: The Mexican Community Of The Central San Joaquin Valley, Chapter 7 & 8. La Raza Studies T.E.A.C.H. Project. California State University, Fresno. October 1980. Courtesy of Arte Americas.

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La Voz de Aztlan Vol. 14, September 23, 1975. A Special Edition to The Daily Collegian, California State University, Fresno. Courtesy of Arte Americas.

Sentimientos Vol 2 No 1, Jan 1979 - pg 1

Sentimientos Del Valle Vol. 2 No. 1, January 1979. Mass Communication and Journalism Department, California State University, Fresno. Courtesy of Arte Americas.

1_La Causa El Calendario Chicano 1974 -

Ray Steele, Jr. “Falk Denies Effort to Oust Minorities.” The Fresno Bee, May 19, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Alberto Nieto. “Letter to the Editor - Chavez, Militants.” The Fresno Bee, June 7, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Gerald P. Merrell. “Chicano Students Hit – La Raza Cancellation.” The Fresno Bee, September 9, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Gerald P. Merrell. “Baxter Differences on Function Cancel FSC La Raza Studies.” The Fresno Bee, September 10, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Richard Hall. “Violence Disrupts Signup At FSC.” The Fresno Bee, September 13, 1970. Newspapers.com.

George L. Baker. “Minorities Blame Baxter for Melee.” The Fresno Bee, September 13, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Ray Steele, Jr. “La Raza – Months of Confusion.” The Fresno Bee, September 13, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Richard B. Smith. “Letter to the Editor - Or Else.” The Fresno Bee, September 16, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Stephen Ross. “Letter to the Editor - Warning.” The Fresno Bee, September 19, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Henry Sanchez. “Letter to the Editor - Give them Hell." The Fresno Bee, September 20, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Carlos A. Rojas, PhD. Emeritus Professor of Foreign Languages, Fresno State College. “Letter to the Editor – About La Raza.” The Fresno Bee, September 20, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Memo Sarata. “Letter to the Editor - Criticizes Baxter." The Fresno Bee, September 21, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Memo Sarata. “Letter to the Editor – FSC Prediction.” The Fresno Bee, September 30, 1970. Newspapers.com.

“Board Would End FSC Paper Special Editions.” The Fresno Bee, November 20, 1970. Newspapers.com.

Ray Steele, Jr. “Baxter Says La Raza Studies Will Be Completely Reinstated.” The Fresno Bee, December 14, 1970. Newspapers.com.

SECONDARY SOURCES

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Link

Salvador Guerrero. “The Chicano Movement – Alive and Evolving.” Borderzine, January 28, 2011.

Link

Dennis Romero. “Chicano renaissance? A new Mexican-American generation embraces the term.” NBC News, July 15, 2018.

Link

Joseph Nevins. “Lessons of the Chicano Movement Today.” Book Review. NACLA Report on the Americas, September 7, 2018.

Link

Gustavo Arellano. “Chicano Groups Are Embracing Undocumented Immigrants. It Wasn’t Always This Way.” High Country News, January 28, 2019.

Link

Dorany Pineda. “From ‘Chicano blowout’ to blowup: Turmoil over MEChA name change was decades in coming.” Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2019.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

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Link

United Farm Workers and the Delano Grape Strike Primary Source Set. Digital Public Library of America.

Link

Voces Oral History Project, Moody College of Communication. University of Texas at Austin.

Link

Chicano! History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement. Directed by Hector Galan. Galán Incorporated, 1995. Kanopy.com with a Fresno County Library card.

Link

Chicano! History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement. Directed by Hector Galan. Galán Incorporated, 1995. YouTube.

Fresno County Historical Society 

Located inside Kearney Park 
7160 West Kearney Boulevard 
Fresno, CA 93706

Mail donations to: 

PO Box 11336

Fresno, CA 93772

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Offices Hours:
Tuesday through Friday 

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For general inquiries: 

info@valleyhistory.org

t. 559-441-0862

Kearney Mansion Museum & Gallery

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Weekend Guided Tours held on
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at
1:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. 

Private Group Tours for ten or more are available with advance reservations.

Closed on select holidays and for exhibition installations.

Weekend Guided Tour schedule is subject to change without notice. 

Archives 

Access to the Fresno County Historical Society Archives is available by appointment only. 

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Research requests should be emailed to:
archives@valleyhistory.org 
 

Requests may take up to 14 days to process.