Chicanas and Chicanos in School
Racial Profiling, Identity Battles, and Empowerment
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Texas Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This book has been a life’s work. The most conscious sense I have of its beginning is when I taught elementary school in inner-city Los Angeles. Teaching in a working-class community that was almost all Latina/o, mainly Mexican, I saw things I had always known but never wanted to witness in such vivid detail. In the three years I worked there, I faced the constant and systematic denial of educational opportunity to all but a ...
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This work belongs to so many people. It belongs first and foremost to the Chicana/o students. Hundreds of students agreed to work with me on this project, and hundreds more provided inspiration for the work to move forward. These students include the many kids I went to school with who were smarter than me but never found their way out, the brilliant young raza at Oak Street Elementary School when I taught there, the gente who...
INTRODUCTION: Rethinking Research in Chicana/o Communities
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Chicana/o students live much of their lives in great jeopardy. Of all the data that point out the severity of this situation, perhaps the most alarming is that as recently as 1998 more than one of every three Chicana/o and Latina/o youth were being raised in poverty (U.S. Census Bureau 1998).1 The limited opportunities that define a life of poverty translate into numerous negative outcomes that reveal the dangers of life as a...
Part One: INSIGHTS FROM LOS ANGELES CHICANA/O YOUTH
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One: IDENTITY FORMATION IN LOS ANGELES
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I felt overwhelmed the first time I walked into Harding High School in East Los Angeles. It was exactly the type of place I wanted my work to eventually affect. The school sits in the heart of a Chicana/o barrio. The student body is huge, and almost every student is Chicana/o. The walls of the school are covered with murals, many of which are student creations and most of which have indigenous and Chicana/o themes....
Two: IDENTITY AND SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IN LOS ANGELES
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More powerful than the individual stories about how identity evolved for Chicana/o students in East Los Angeles is how these experiences affected them. Conflicts related to their disempowerment shaped not only how they saw themselves but also how they understood their schooling and their educational futures. At times I was overwhelmed by the students’ stories. Diego’s story is just one of them: ...
Three: LESSONS FROM LOS ANGELES STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL SUCCESS
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In our conversations the Chicana/o students at Harding, the community college, and the university focused on describing their experiences, explaining how their identities had emerged and how that process was related to school performance. Although we did not have much time during the interviews to strategize how to address the needs of Chicana/ o students, the revelations of some of the students contained ideas ...
Part Two: INSIGHTS FROM ACOMA CHICANA/O YOUTH
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Four: IDENTITY FORMATION IN ACOMA
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In recent years, increasing attention has been paid to the experiences of urban Chicana/o youth. This has left an important part of the Chicana/o population ignored: rural Chicanas/os. To date, almost no investigation of the experiences and forces shaping the lives of Chicana/o youth in rural communities has taken place....
Five: IDENTITY AND SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IN ACOMA
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When we talked about their schooling, the students in Acoma told stories that were often frightening, in terms of both their experiences and the similarities of those experiences. Often the students were unable to fully explain what they thought was happening, because the problems they saw were frequently hidden behind layers of policy and procedure. A high school student provided an example of such experiences when...
Six: LESSONS FROM ACOMA STUDENTS FOR SCHOOL SUCCESS
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The previous two chapters provided an in-depth understanding of the lives, identities, and school experiences of Chicana/o students in Acoma. That detailed analysis is of particular importance because no one has researched the experiences of this population, and very little research has been done with rural Chicanas/os in general. This chapter looks closely at a few individual students to help frame the overall...
Time-out: ERNESTO SANCHEZ’S AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF IDENTITY AND SCHOOL IN ACOMA
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Ernesto Sanchez enrolled in a class that I offered at the university in Washington that dealt with identity development among Chicanas/os. I offered the class while I was working on the project described in this book. The students were asked to write autobiographies that focused on their identities. Ernesto’s paper covered many of the themes I was finding in my research. I should add that I had not talked about that research...
Part Three: UNDERSTANDING AND TRANSFORMING THE SCHOOL LIVES OF CHICANA/O YOUTH
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Seven: RACIAL PROFILING, IDENTITY, AND SCHOOL ACHIEVEMENT: Lessons from Power Conflicts in Diverse Contexts
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Racial profiling has been attacked as the most blatant example of the racial divide in the United States today. African American and Latina/o communities in particular have protested the informal policy that makes DWB (driving while black /brown) an offense in many areas. These protests are a response to the greater frequency with which black and brown drivers are pulled over by the police than are other drivers. In...
Eight: CHICANA/O STUDENT EDUCATIONAL EMPOWERMENT
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The students themselves spent a great deal of time making suggestions about how to address the needs they laid out in our discussions. Mari’s suggestions in the following interview excerpt unpacked much of what has been covered in the first two sections of this book: ...
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Through my work with raza youth, I have learned the power of Che Guevara’s emphasis on the importance of love in social change (mentioned at the end of Chapter 8). This love is not the love of cheap novels and trashy TV shows. It is a deeper, spiritual love that is bonded to the realities of twenty-first-century oppression and that demands our work with others for justice. I elaborate on these ideas through the...
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Page Count: 301
Publication Year: 2005
Series Title: Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series