The purpose of the text is to provide insight into the fundamental issues that led to the emergence of civil rights activism in the 1950s.The author explores several issues that had for many years affected the minority groups in the United States under the hegemony of Anglo-Americans and other white populations of European descent. A chronological account of a series of events is given to describe the underlying problems Americans of Mexico descent faced, culmination in the formation of organizations that provided a platform for the articulation of their discontent.
Racial discrimination is one of the issues the text addresses in regards to the Mexican Americans. White hegemony is depicted to perpetrate racial discrimination against individuals of Mexican origin in many spheres of American life. The education system is skewed towards the whites whereas the rest of the minorities are forced to learn under severe conditions that were deliberately designed to deny the Mexican-Americans opportunities in the American system. Also, the Mexican Americans working for white-owned businesses were paid pittances and lived in deplorable working conditions. Workers, for instance, in the plantation farms were exploited and these social issues sparked the formation of movements that struggled to legislation to set the minimum wages and contract employment for Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigrants. Similarly, Mexican Americans lived in abject poverty as a result of the systemic denial of economic opportunities. Moreover, the recognition of Hispanic populations as a legitimate constituent of the American society is explored in the text. The Chicano Movement was meant to reject the idea of assimilation of people of Mexico descent and advocated for a social order that embraced diversity and racial pride. Furthermore, historical issues of land ownership among the Mexican population are a point of concern for the text. It highlights the land challenges that faced the Federal Administration resulting from the Guadalupe Hidalgo Treaty that allowed the annexation of Mexican territory by the United States.
The author uses several tools to put the ideas across the audience. The background of the Mexican population in the US and discriminative practices inherent in the American society provides the reader with a background information about the issues under discussion. To articulate the important matters, the author employs the use of protagonists who represent the themes covered in the book. For instance, Cesar Chavez, and Tijerina Lopez represent the issues of exploitation in the farms and the violation of the land ownership rights of the Mexican population in Texas respectively. Using this approach, the author communicates the issues through the main characters so as to give his information credibility. The organization of the work is critical as it provides a chronology of events that successively impacted on each other to instill awareness about civil rights among the minority communities in the US. The exploration of change of attitudes among the middle-class Mexicans towards the Chicano identity is depicted as a product of the earlier happenings thanks to the authors ability to arrange happenings in a chronological order.
However, the figure given to Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans make little impact in articulating the issues. Did the population size play a role in the social revolution? Or it was because of the new awakening about the civil rights campaigns that were sweeping across American minorities. The contribution of the war veterans is scantily explored as well. Nevertheless, the text provides sufficient context about the civil rights movements among minorities in the US during the mid-20th century.
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