August 29th marks the 41st Anniversary of the 1970 August 29th Moratorium march in East Los Angeles–an event that still has powerful significance for many Chicanos and Latinos today. Although I was just a toddler at the time, I know from my Tio Braulio that the Moratorium was a really important event in Latino history. The United States had been fighting a war in Vietnam for years and many Latinos had lost their lives–some scholars conclude as many as 20% of the casualties were Latinos. Latinopia is showcasing the August 29th Moratorium protest as an Event Profile– for those of you who don’t’ know what went down, pues aqui esta! And we are also reprising two of our Latinopia Event videos “Moratorium in the Rain” and “Moratorium 40th Anniversary.” Okay, so my Tio Braulio goes on and on about the good old days–the moviemiento marches and protests and how important it was that we stood up for our rights in the 1960s and 1970s.Yes, I get all of that. But your Tia must confess to being a little perplexed.
With all of the issues facing La Raza today–the large numbers of Latinos and Latinas fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, the struggle for the Dream Act so that young Latinos can get an education and contribute to our American society, the fight against silly but dangerous laws like Arizona’s SB 1070 and the efforts in Arizona to deny young Mexican Americans, African Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans knowledge of their history in the Tucson high schools–with all of these important issues at hand, shouldn’t we be addressing them instead of continually reliving the past? Hay! Sorry Tio Braulio!
As I understand it, we won that August 29, 1970 battle–our protests ultimately put an end to the Vietnam War and our men and women came home. So let’s celebrate that victory but move forward to the issues at hand today. And here I must do a shout out to my own generation of chavos and chavalas. Hey dudes, look at the problems facing our Latino communities today and let’s work for a better future for all of us! Ask not what your Raza can do for you, but what you can do for your Raza.. Hey, that has a nice ring to it, did I invent that? 😉
Okay–Your Tia is now stepping down from her soapbox. But hey, I wouldn’t be your Tia Tenopia if I didn’t speak out on what’s on my mind. Que no? What do you think?
Also on Latinopia this week we have an exciting video–the first of a three-part series on the birth of El Teatro Campesino, the theater company that was on the picket lines helping farm workers gain decent working conditions in California’s fields and orchards. We go back to 1965 with Luis Valdez and Agustín Lira and learn how their collaboration led the creation of a theater company within the United Farm Workers Union that would become legendary.
We also visit with San Antonio-based music group Conjunto Aztlán and an original anti-war ballad “Desafinada” by song writer José Flores Peregrino. Pay attention to the lyrics of this song from a group that has been performing since those early protests of the 1970s. Bueno, enjoy this week’s videos! Looking forward y Adelante! Tia Tenopia