Narrated Photo Essay: Joe Razo on the Self-Determination of the Chicano | KCET
Narrated Photo Essay: Joe Razo on the Self-Determination of the Chicano
In the 1960s and 70s, a group of young idealists-activists came together to work on a community newspaper called La Raza that became the voice for the Chicano Movement. With only the barest resources, but a generous amount of dedication, these young men and women changed their world and produced an archive of over 25,000 photographs. Hear their thoughts on the times and its relevance today, while perusing through some photographs not seen in public for decades in this series of narrated slideshows.
Click right or left to look through the images from the 1960s and 70s. Hit the play button on the bottom right corner to listen to the audio.
I'm Joe Razo. In 1967, I was a graduate student at Cal State L.A. University. In the final analysis, I deem La Raza to be an organization of organizers. That was our primary goal: to organize our community. We used photojournalism as a technique of organizing in the community. Photojournalism was utilized in that manner because of the fact that we had no representation in the media and because there were stereotypic notions and racist notions about who we were as a people. In the movies, we were portrayed as gangsters, glue sniffers, bandits, Frito Bandito. Our women were sexy tamales that danced flamenco dances with castanets. Everything was a negative fashion so we focused on the issue of who we are. By making a determination that we would call ourselves Chicanos, we were taking a step of resistance, of saying, "You aren't going to tell us who we are." We were declaring ourselves to be a separate race. We were a brown race.
Hear more from the other photographers here.
More La Raza Stories
Top Image: Protesters march on Whittier Boulevard with the sign "Be Brown & Be Proud" | La Raza photograph collection. Courtesy of UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
Audio mix by: Michael Naeimollah
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