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Yo Soy Chicana: A Chicana Feminist Movement

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Social upheaval dominated the 1960s and 1970s as newly mobilized communities fought for equality in the U.S. As domestic protests against the Vietnam War increased, civil rights organizations would win important political battles against institutional racism, while "Second Wave" American feminism would emerge from its infancy as a full-fledged movement. The Chicano movement gained similar momentum during this moment, but within it many women felt their unique identity - both intertwined with their brothers in struggle, but specifically distinct as Chicano women - was being ignored. A Chicana feminist movement galvanized in reaction to the complexities of Latina empowerment, often facing resistance from male Chicano leaders and organizers.

While many forms of gender inequality exposed by mainline American feminism were relevant to women of color, overall the race and class experiences of white and brown women did not correlate. White feminists enjoyed access to racial privileges and simply did not speak to the injustices experienced by women of color. Moreover, they often failed to define themselves in terms that positively or proactively involved men, while many Chicanas remained invested in the struggles of the men in their community despite the patriarchy of traditional Mexican-American culture. Rather than acceding to the common request that they wait their turn, Chicana feminists saw that the sexism within the Chicano Movement intersected with racism in the larger society, and made addressing both simultaneously as a central component to their ideology.

El Jardin, Judithe Hernandez
El Jardin, Judithe Hernandez

The Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional was formally established in 1973 to address political and economic issues affecting Latino women throughout the nation, including longstanding assaults such as forced sterilization. In Highland Park, female artists involved in male-dominated collectives eschewed idealized images of maids and over-sexualized iconography and began painting Latino women as they appeared in reality - applying makeup, holding a child, or in feminine forms with realistic proportions.

Judithe Hernandez, a Chicana artist who achieved notoriety as a muralist in the 1970s, contributed important works in the Chicana/o Arts Movement
Yo Soy Chicana - Judithe Hernandez - Reclaiming the City - Being a Chicana Feminist

Being a Chicana Feminist

Sonya Fe is a painter and muralist long affiliated with the Chicana/o arts movement and Latina empowerment.
Yo Soy Chicana - Sonya Fe - Empowering Latino Women

Empowering Latino Women

An article written by Sybil Venegas for Chisme Arte became a seminal piece on Chicana Art criticism at a time when the subject wasn't often talked about.
Yo Soy Chicana - Sybil Venegas - Conditions for Producing Chicana Art

Conditions for Producing Chicana Art

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Centro de Arte Publico - Delores Guerrero - A Single Mother

Being a Single Mother

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Ed Fuentes, artwork Colette Miller (preview)

In Remembrance of Arts Journalist and Advocate Ed Fuentes

Collaborator and friend James Daichendt remembers Ed Fuentes, a longtime advocate of the arts, who passed away this week.
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The San Gabriels: The Remarkable History of L.A.'s Threatened National Monument

An exploration of the rich history and culture of the San Gabriel Mountains and its eponymous river.
Boyle Heights Street Vending. Credits: Feng Yuan

Is Los Angeles Finally Legalizing Street Vending?

Trend-setting entrepreneurs versus “illegal” street vendors is a confusing dichotomy that has become the center of many conversations.