My name is George A. Sanchez and I am writing this review of the very interesting article "The Birth of Chicano Studies" by Sandy Banks in this magazine. He gives the names of three Mexican Americans who should be given credit for starting the first Chicano Studies program in the United States at California State University Los Angeles. (The name "Mexican American" was used before "Chicano" came into use.) They are Carlos Muñoz, Jr., Raúl Ruiz, and Ralph C. Guzman.
Sandy Banks gives us the problems they, and many other Mexican American children, had getting a good education all the way up to High School. Mexican American children were not expected to go to college and get a degree so they were not placed in courses needed to start a college education by the teachers in these schools. Munoz, Ruiz, and Guzman had a very hard time learning the basics needed to succeed in college when they started attending Cal State LA around the years 1968 to 1970. That is when they decided that many important changes had to be made in the education of Mexican American children and why they are considered the founders of the first Chicano Studies program in the United States.
1968-1970 was also the time that Mexican Americans living in East and South Los Angeles were protesting by marching in the streets and High School students walking out of their school building. Many adults, including Carlos Munoz, were arrested and jailed charged with conspiring to organize the walk outs. This now is considered the start of the Chicano Movement. The Chicano Movement then spread to many of the Southwest states: Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado 2. Latino American programs on PBS document the story of how Chicanos have constructed a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of their people today.
1. My wife Jessie Evaro Sanchez, son Georgie, and I moved to East Los Angeles in 1963 where I started working for the Safeway stores in the LA area as a Meat Cutter. Our second son Karl was born in 1964 at an East LA Hospital. By then I was attending East LA College part time where I received an Associate in Arts degree in January 1966. My wife Jessie was attending Vocational Nursing School of California and received her Vocational Nursing certificate in May 1964. When she started working at an East LA Hospital I started working part time at Safeway and attending Cal State University LA, then known as LA State, full time. I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics with a Minor in Philosophy in March 1968. The Chicano Movement in East LA where we lived had only been going on for only a short time but I only attended a few marches at the LA State campus because we were preparing to move the family back to Las Cruces, New Mexico at the time. In Las Cruces and later in El Paso I taught High School and College math courses for thirty years until I retired. Now my hobby is doing Genealogy and writing articles for the organizations I belong to in San Elizario and San Antonio, TX, two in Albuquerque, NM, and one in Pueblo, CO.
2. In Pueblo, CO, I belong to the FACC which is one of the branches of the Genealogical Society of Hispanic America (GSHA). There are two other branches, one in CA and the other in UT. I requested that a copy of the latest Cal State LA Magazine be sent to my friend Carmen Arteaga, President of FACC. She and her family started the EL MOVIMIENTO, the CHICANO MOVEMENT, in the early seventies in Colorado.
Carmen Arteaga personal primary documents were made into a very nice award-winning Chicano Movement. It is now a permanent exhibit at the Pueblo Community College (PCC) above the Library.
She took all of her pictures and video tapes of different formats, converted to digital, and they are now visible in the PCC Library exhibit. Below she is the first female on the left of the group in the middle photo on the right. In the first of the pictures below that is her brother Edmond Roybal on the left. He was a member of the Brown Berets. That is his uniform in the last picture.