Blog 11: New Identity

As the long 60s drew to close many groups, inspired by what they saw in the decade, began organizing for what was needed for them. Native Americans, Chicano-Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Asian-Americans were inspired by the black power movement and began organizing for their own identity. They, like the black power movement, did not want to assimilate into the white American culture they wanted their own identity in their own culture. In one of the articles on Chicano- Americans the author discusses how all of his early life he had tried to just fit into American culture and had forgotten his Chicano identity. When he began living and working in a community with other Chicanos he realized that Chicano is beautiful and that he should not forget his culture. The same goes for Asian Americans, they wanted people to see them as Asian-Americans with a cultural identity unique to them. They wanted equal representation and wanted their culture to be respected, they did not want to assimilate into the white American culture. Native Americans had had enough of their mistreatment. For more than a century they had been promised land and a space for their culture and they were continually pushed off their land and been the victims of broken promises. They decided enough was enough and they needed to move and take action. The group occupied Alcatraz Island off the coast of San Fransico this was ironic because it was a jail that had been abandoned, but the Native-Americans saw this as symbolic because now when people came to America through the west coast they would now see those who owned the land first. All of these movements were about creating a cultural identity that would be both American and Chicano or Asian or Puerto Rican. They didn’t want to be apart of the white American culture that did not respect and honor their culture. They wanted a group which would organize and further their culture. For instance, the Puerto Rican movement in New York wanted to do things for the community as a community even the most mundane of tasks like cleaning up trash. The goal was to be for the community as the community in whatever it needed. While the there were not many long-term changes that this group made on the foreign front, they had a lasting impact domestically and challenged the white American culture to not force their culture on others and respect other cultures.

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