Sunday, May 20, 2007

Chicano in Kansas City

"I just got back from a panel discussion on the history of the Chicano movement in Kansas City at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center . . . It's always surprising to me that so many people don't even know what the term Chicano implies while it seems to all but consume so many others.
And while all of this stuff is ancient history to me, a lot of folks may or may not remember that KC was an integral part of the Chicano movement with national leaders from Cesar Chavez to Raul Yzaguirre making this town a stopping point during their work across the country.
Still, it goes mostly unreported in Kansas City's mainstream media that there is a resurgence of talk concerning activism and advocacy in Latino communities across KC not only because of the current immigration kurfuffle but also due to the fact that this nation is rapidly changing colors.
I'm not going to go into the boring details of who said what and the assorted resumes of the folks on the panel . . . But I will say that anybody who knows the history of the Chicano movement around these parts would be excited because this kind of talk represents the same chatter that was responsible for so many of the advances made by the Mexican-American community as a whole back in the heyday of "the movement." I will note that Joe Arce did a great job moderating the panel which comprised every kind of perspective from radical to mundane of KC's Hispanic Community . . . When Joe finally gets around to doing the official write up in the KC Hispanic News I'll be sure to link it.
What's more important is that I think that with all the development and grand schemes that so many real estate and construction advocates have devised in this town, the so-called "Downtown Renaissance" isn't the only rebirth in Kansas City. To me at least, the "renaissance" composed of concrete, TIF money and bad planning isn't half as promising as resurgence of the political and cultural ideals of the Chicano movement that don't cost a dime. From what I've seen though the past two years of immigrant rights marches, meetings, media and community/political activism - Kansas City is also home to a rebirth and reawakening of a Latino/Chicano consciousness that isn't merely about cultural and artistic identity and all other cool things related to Cheech Marin but is also a renaissance of a social and political movement as well."

Friday, May 04, 2007

La Marcha in Kansas City, Missouri on May 1, 2007

(at Avenida Cesar E. Chavez and Madison). ¡SI SE PUEDE!