Pasadena Time Travel

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Roosevelt High School Strike, March 17, 1970 (after Raul Ruiz)

In March of 1968, over 15,000 students, faculty and community members walked out of East Los Angeles high schools, demanding reform of schools that were failing Mexican American students. The Brown Berets, a Chicano Liberation Movement that evolved out of the youth group Young Citizens for Community Action, fought for better school conditions.

“We went to those high schools, and it was the beginning of the Chicano Movement. We organized youth against police brutality and then we started bringing up the issue of education. I remember writing articles, making flyers, going to the schools, raising up these demands. We would meet at the coffeehouse and at the church. We talked about everything: our culture, the beginning of the Chicano Renaissance, the cultural movement, raising the slogan of being Brown and Proud, Chicano Power, reading about international events, Vietnam, Cuba, the Black Liberation Movement. The beginning of the Chicano Movement is what it was. Some people say youth movement—most of us were young.

The walkout demands—there were over 20. Open campuses, bilingual education. We wanted another school, we wanted culturally relevant education, we wanted Chicano teachers, we wanted open campus and access to the bathroom, parent involvement."

-Carlos M. Montes, Chicano Activist and co-founder of the Brown Berets, Garfield High School, class of 1966

©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 Raul Ruiz, La Raza Photographic collection, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center; Carlos M. Montes.