Masters Thesis

Chicana movements: Fresno Chicana writings, identity, and activism, 1965-1975

During the 1960s and 1970s, Chicanas/os at Fresno State College formed part of the larger Chicano movement aimed at obtaining civil rights for individuals of Mexican descent living within the United States. Between 1965 and 1975, Chicanas/os enrolled at Fresno State College realized the importance of forming student organizations within higher education in order to advocate for better resources, demand fair treatment, and foster a sense of community. Chicanas/os concentrated their efforts and organized to create the Chicano student newspaper, La Voz de Aztlán. Through their writings in La Voz, Chicanas/os identified racial and socioeconomic challenges in their community and wrote extensively on the discrimination they faced within public education systems. Chicanas specifically, used La Voz as the avenue by which to voice and develop their identities as Chicanas and activists within the movement. Chicana writings within La Voz demonstrate how they reflected, constructed, and expressed their activist identities, which, in turn, informed their modes of resistance. As this thesis illustrates, Fresno Chicanas formed part of the larger translocal network of women organizing within the Chicano movement, and demonstrates how their identities, which were unique to Fresno, guided their activism on campus and in the barrio. Modern Chicana/o historiography overlooks women in Fresno, but when examined closely, they form an important link to the larger narrative and deepen our understanding of how Chicana movements shaped the larger movement.

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