Need Your Stories for 500 Years Volume II

We Want to Include Your stories, photos, graphics, poems and other items you may want to share in Volume II of the book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures/500 Años del Pueblo Chicano

Do you have a story to tell about a march, rally, walkout or protest that you or your organization organized or participated in? Have you or someone you know written a poem that you want others to read, or a drawing, painting or mural that you want others to see related to Chican@ history during the past 26 years?  Please send them to us so that we can consider using them in Volume II of the book which we are working on now.

We are also going to update the existing Video Viva la Causa, so please send videos or video clippings.

To send these materials or for any questions you might have please write to Adelita Medina:

The existing edition (Volume I) of the book 500 Years of Chicano History covers 500 years ending in 500-years-double1990. That was 26 years ago. As you know a lot has happened since then that has affected the lives of our people.

We need to learn about and share these stories of our communities during the last 26 years. If we don’t write our own stories, someone else may do it for us, as recently happened in Texas.

Your help and contributions of materials will help us bring this history up to date.

Along with the updated book and video, we are also preparing to add an online tool that will allow the global Chicano community to engage in telling their stories of the past 26, 500, and 1,000 years.

Adelita Medina, a long-time activist in various struggles for social justice and peace, is working with us to collect those stories and videos. We’ve reached out to communities across the country, including Chicano Studies programs in universities and high schools, cultural curators, community organizers, youth, elders, and our own members.

The response has been incredible, because many people in our communities (of all ages) want to learn about Chicano History.  The first book was very well-received by thousands of people in our schools and communities around the country.

This is what some people who bought and read the book had to say about it:

This book was written pre-NAFTA, pre-expanded xenophobia since 9/11 and pre-expanded anti-immigrant (Mexican) sentiment in California, so who could have believed things could actually get worse! But they did. Time to rev up the movement again.

This book was banned in Arizona by the racist school district but I’m telling you now!! That won’t stop me from reading and teaching my kids their roots and the fight of Chicanos for our rights !!! This book is a real treasure and a must have for every Chicano home.

An old High School Teacher from El Cajon High School in San Bernardino teaches his Spanish class with this book…this book is wonderful. It teaches us how we learn most easily. I mean, most people like me who come from indigenous backgrounds learn orally and visually their traditions, and this book helped me learn about my history visually and literally too because it is bilingual…I love this book. It’s definitely a must buy for all Chicanos who want to teach their kids about their history.

This book was very eye opening, it opens the minds of people to ideas that are not in our American “HISTORY” books. Besides reading about the struggles that Chicanos faced, it also has pictures (to visualize). The book is not only informative but empowering. Anyone working for Justice should read this book, because it encourages the reader to fight the fight.

The SouthWest Organizing Project (SWOP) is investing in this project because we know that creating space to tell our stories is essential to our fight for justice. As you know, Chicano and Ethnic Studies are under attack in many parts of our country. In addition, we are facing an uncertain future with many challenges for Chicano communities and other people of color.  Being able to learn about our people’s past stories of struggle and survival can help inspire us to be strong and meet these new challenges—united and with determination.

SWOP has a reputation of being rooted in community, and part of that reputation is due to 500 Years. For 26 years, the book has been a powerful tool to illuminate and uplift the global Chicano community. With that in mind, we are committed to raising the money necessary to update 500 Years of Chicano History and bring it to as many people as possible.

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