Writing in The Los Angeles Times recently, Gustavo Arellano, a columnist, said: “Those young people helped launch the Chicano movement in Southern California and created a generation of leaders.”
Mr. Arellano worries that the national news media coverage of the Parkland-inspired activists will ignore the Chicano walkouts, and focus instead on the youth movements against the Vietnam War and segregation in the South, and more recent youth-led protests against President Trump’s immigration policies.
But in Los Angeles this week no one is ignoring that history. Los Angeles schools have held a number of events, including a re-enactment on Monday of a famous meeting in 1968 between Cesar Chavez, the Chicano labor leader, and Robert F. Kennedy.
“Chicano history was not separate from American history, it was a part of American history,” Mr. Verdugo said.
One of the sparks for the protests here in 1968 was a high dropout rate among Latino students. And Mr. Verdugo, who was failing in school, left for good after the protests. But later that year he was admitted to U.C.L.A. under an affirmative action program.
“I walked out in March, dropped out in May, and in October I walked on to the campus of U.C.L.A.,” he said.
He never graduated, but years later earned a degree from another university and went on to a long career in social work.
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• What is Cfius? Oh, just a little-known committee with the power to kill the Qualcomm takeover bid. [The New York Times]
• On Monday, Qualcomm said it would comply with Cfius’s request that it delay its shareholder meeting as the war of words with Broadcom continued. [The New York Times]
• The 55 people California sends to Congress are worth at least $439 million. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s net worth is at least $58.5 million. Representative Devin Nunes? At least $101,000. [The Los Angeles Times via Roll Call]
• The man who inspired California’s Three Strikes law was sentenced to life in prison on Monday after having been convicted on domestic violence charges — his third serious felony conviction. [The Associated Press]
• Russ Solomon, who founded Tower Records and expanded it worldwide, died over the weekend at his home in Sacramento. He was 92. [The New York Times]
• Richard A. Carranza, the former superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District, has been tapped to lead New York City’s schools. [The New York Times]
• Caltrans is considering tearing down and replacing the twin freeway bridges that carry Interstate 5 over the American River in what could be a major Sacramento freeway redo. [The Sacramento Bee]
• A new team of lawyers — formally called an “environmental justice bureau” — has been set up to investigate polluters that operate in low-income and minority neighborhoods. [KQED]
• The new commuter town for people who work in Silicon Valley is … Bend, Ore.? [CNBC]
• Frances McDormand’s Oscar was briefly stolen at an after-party. Ms. McDormand celebrated getting it back with In-N-Out. [The New York Times]
• Speaking of Oscars after-parties, here’s a look inside the one hosted by Vanity Fair. [The New York Times]
• This year’s Academy Awards attracted its smallest U.S. television audience ever. [Reuters]
• When Serena Williams plays this week in Indian Wells, it’ll be her first time in a WTA tournament since the birth of her daughter. [The New York Times]
• Thousands of homes were destroyed by the wildfires that ripped through Northern California in October. Now, as some homeowners prepare to start over, many have decided to go with a prefab. [The New York Times]
And Finally …
The New York Times recently took a trip down memory lane, looking to the not-so-distant past to try to figure out “How the Selfie Conquered the World.”
In the article, the reporter Alex Williams gives Myspace, flip phones and even Paris Hilton their due.
But if you want to go back a little further, you might consider a trip to the Museum of Selfies, which will open in Glendale on April 1.
The selfie, the museum claims, actually has “roots dating back 40,000 years.” And for $25, the museum “promises to share the unseen depths and history” of the cultural phenomenon.
“Whether you love them or hate them,” the museum’s website says, “you won’t see selfies the same way again.”
What can you do there, you ask? Among other things, the museum says you can take “really cool” photos.
But … wasn’t that what was the Museum of Ice Cream was for?
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.Continue reading the main story
Walkout is a 2006HBOfilm based on a true story of the 1968 East L.A. walkouts. It premiered March 18, 2006 on HBO. Starring Alexa Vega, Efren Ramirez and Michael Peña, the film was directed by Edward James Olmos. Moctezuma Esparza, one of the students who was involved in the walkouts, was the film's executive producer and many of the actors playing parents in the film were also protesters.
High school student Paula Crisostomo (played by Alexa Vega), is tired of being treated unequally. She meets a group of student activists from around East Los Angeles and they decide to try to change the way students are treated. They are punished for speaking Spanish in school, their bathrooms are locked during lunch, they are forced to do janitorial work as a punishment and many in the high school administrations actively dissuade the less promising students from attending college. Inspired by her Chicano teacher Sal Castro (Michael Peña) and despite opposition from her father (Yancey Arias), Paula joins in and helps hand out surveys to students to suggest improvements to the schools. Each East LA high school has two or three students who are in the group; Paula particularly becomes interested in Robert (Jeremy Ray Valdez).
However, the school board refuses to consider the suggestions so Paula urges the students to walk out of school. The police find out and the principal threatens to expel Paula if she walks out. Paula's father urges against her plan of "walking out." He believes that the group is a bunch of "agitators." Five East LA schools successfully walk out and the school board says they might consider their demands, but Paula's father throws her out of the house for her role in the walkout.
The students decide to walk out in only half of the schools the next day, but the police arrest and beat the protesters. None of the footage appears on the news and the students are painted as violent agitators with Communist ties. Paula decides to invite the students' families to the protests, hoping their presence will deter police brutality.
When the students walk out again their families come to support them and it appears that they have won because the school board agrees to hear their complaints. Paula invites Robert to prom, but while she is getting ready the police suddenly arrest 12 of the leaders of the student movement. When Paula goes to Sal for advice she discovers that Robert (who is an undercover LAPD officer) has arrested him. The students are charged with conspiracy to disrupt a school with a maximum penalty of 66 years. Paula is defeated, but her father urges her not to give up and she helps to stage a massive protest outside the jail. Robert is on duty there and tries to stop her, but she continues leading the crowd until all 12 students and Sal are released.
A month after the film first aired, 2,500 Colorado students initiated a walkout of Denver schools to protest H.R. 4437, known as the "Sensenbrenner Bill." This House bill would have made it a felony (rather than a misdemeanor) to be in the US illegally. The bill was the catalyst for the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests. Other student Walk Out protests in May 2006 were in part inspired by the film.