Pasadena Time Travel


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Mexican American Club, Blair High School, 1970

In the late 1960s, performance artist and activist Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin was a parent of children in the Pasadena schools.

“Parents felt their kids needed to be proud of their culture, because our culture wasn’t being taught in the schools. The parents’ concern was brewing because of the unequal education their children were receiving. It was a pride thing. MEChA [the Mexican-American student organization] was growing all over the Southwest. There was a sense of communicating with people from the other states and the other groups. It was really supportive.

Mothers were involved. Before there was bilingual education, before the schools taught Spanish, we taught the kids ourselves. The activism of the mothers was linked to the activism in the schools. We used our Mexican culture to express educational inequality by using art, dance and street theater.”

-Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin, Performance Artist, Author, Chicana activist, Pomona Catholic High School Class of 1960

©2018 Deborah Aschheim. This project is made possible in part by the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division. Courtesy Blair High School [1970 Yearbook]; Vibiana Aparicio-Chamberlin