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.
Christenson, Camille G., ""A New Weapon - A New Monster - The Walkout": The East Los Angeles Student Walkouts of 1968" (2017). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 7674.
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar
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