The Chicano Movement in Houston and Texas: A Personal Memory

By Carlos Calbillo c/s

Well, what a long and strange trip it was, or should I say, has been. Carlos Guerra is gone, Lupe Youngblood is gone, Poncho Ruiz, El Tigre, Ernie Valdés. And Mateo Vega, if not gone, is certainly missing in action or something like that.

These names are of some of the brothers; there were also sisters, that I worked with in the movement beginning in, for me, April, 1968.

The Chicano Movement of the 1960s and 1970s was essentially a grassroots community insurrection and rebellion against a stifling racism and oppression that strangled the Latino and Black communities of Houston and Texas in that time, and a determination to fight and defeat it. We sought to bring the Mexican American out of second-class citizenship and out of the societal marginalization that we found ourselves in at the time throughout Texas.

Like many social movements throughout the world then and since, this movement began with the youth of the afflicted community. These energetic shock troopers, tired of the oppression found throughout Texas and the nation, threw themselves into this task in an attempt to rehab the karma of the surrounding Anglo-American majority society and to achieve full citizenship for our people.

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