Thursday, April 24, 2008


I believe that it's also relevant to discuss what was happening in the social realm prior to the emergence of Chicano rap. When most think of America in the 1960s, they think of the struggles between black and white: MLK, Jim Crow, Rosa Parks, Birmingham, "I have a dream," etc. However, many other social movements were occurring during this era of radican change, including the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement.

Armed with a renewed sense of nationalism, Mexican Americans across the nation reclaimed the once pejorative "Chicano," deeming it a term of "cultural pride and confidence." Chicanos sought to renew land grants, implement rights for farm workers, protest the crumbling education system, and assert a political presence. Unlikely leaders like Reies Lopez Tijerina and Cesar Chavez emerged, putting a face to the struggle of millions of Chicanos. While many social disparities still exist for Mexican-Americans, the movement served to "galvanize and train a new generation of activists and leaders," bringing Chicano issues to a national level.

Had it not been for the courage of participants and leaders of this movement, I doubt that there would be a platform for artists like Kid Frost to capitalize on and spread their message to the masses.

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