Thousands of high school students walked out of classes in East Los Angeles in 1968 to protest unequal treatment of Mexican Americans in the public education system. Among the students' concerns were classes that omitted Hispanic history, a lack of bilingual teachers and a system that steered Chicano students to vocational training rather than college-prep classes.
Through what lens do we identify a nation, its leaders, and its people? Can those of us outside of a select culture impartially examine and embrace a nation and its constituents through multiple lenses such that we objectively identify a country and its people—many of whose descendants live within American shores? How do we enlighten future generations to become thinkers who empathize, communicate, and interact with diverse cultures, ultimately helping them develop working relationships with diverse people within our country and ever-expanding global community? How can understanding identity and collective consciousness serve as a unifying force for a community, a nation, and the world? By immersing students in hands-on research activities, engaging discourse with entrepreneurs and individuals from diverse cultures, and more, we can perhaps evoke positive change in this regards. “Cuba! Identity Revealed” serves as a proposed “discovery prototype” to achieve this end. Using the country of Cuba as a springboard, young learners will go beyond textbook knowledge, media images, and sweeping generalizations to better understand and constructively embrace diverse cultures that exist both within and beyond America’s shores.
The K-5 Classroom Resource list is intended for use by educators with students. Background texts and resources for professional development are also available. Please contact Social Science Specialist Amit.Koborowski@state.or.us for more information.
Students begin this unit by discussing their relationship with art, and the extent to which they believe art drives resistance movements. Students then participate in a Gallery Walk that highlights how members of the Puerto Rico community in the Young Lords used art to advance their ideas and preserve their culture. Students center the activism of Indigenous peoples in Puerto Rico by studying bomba music and murals. This helps them understand the roots of art—both visual and performance—as activism, and respond to the question: How can understanding Latinidad through art help us confront social and political injustices? Throughout this unit, students work in teams to create a poster series that inspires civic engagement and action on issues of social and political injustice.
In this lesson, students will investigate the work and legacies of Black and Latinx pioneers often ignored in larger discussions about LGBTQ+ history, by collaborating with other students in analyzing primary source documents. Students will also explore the ways city governments and activists are working to combat the erasure of Black and Latinx trans women and the broader whitewashing of the Gay Liberation Movement.
"Part fascinating fact, part dazzling fiction, Zoot Suit is the blistering film adaptation of playwright Luis Valdez' critically acclaimed stage drama based on the 'zoot suit riots' that rocked 1940s Los Angeles." (youtube)Luis Valdez's play, Zoot Suit, was a product of it's time, but it also a product of the original time of the story. This means that it held relevance when Valdez wrote it, and it held relevance in relation to the original zoot suit riots that happened. This brings up the following questions:Is Zoot Suit relevant today?What would need to happen for Zoot Suit to be relevant only as a historical representation?Please write a 250 word response to each of these questions (500 words minium). Use the film/play as a reference, as well as supporting materials if appropriate.Proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting are expected.