In March of 1968, East Los Angeles witnessed thousands of Mexican American students walk out of Belmont, Garfield, Lincoln, Roosevelt, and Wilson High Schools. In what became known as the East Los Angeles Blowouts, the protests sparked a series of walkouts from high schoolers nationwide. The students protested what I call “educational racism.” This term refers to different ways the education system in East Los Angeles discriminated against Mexican Americans students on the basis of their race. This Independent Study analyzes how the students in East Los Angeles embraced their identity as both students and Mexican Americans to protest against the educational racism in their schools. By placing the students’ actions into a theoretical framework known as the “Movement Culture,” and using the concept of a “free space,” this study shows how the Mexican American students’ organizing, heightened political consciousness, execution of a massive protest, and the aftermath of the walkout led to a new specific student movement within the Chicano Movement as a whole.


Roche, Jeff




East Los Angeles, social movement, Chicano

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2017 Camille G. Christenson