Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Jose Angel Gutierrez recipient, 2019 United States Hispanic Hero Award

View this and get inspired.  

This is a wonderful video about Dr. José Ángel Gutierrez,
recipient of the 2019 United States Hispanic Hero Award by the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute that also
provides good historical context for the Mexican American
Civil Rights movement.

Congratulations, José Ángel!  We are deeply indebted to all
that you and the activistas of your generation have done to provide us with the self-awareness, critical knowledge and tools, and cultural pride that are needed to carry forward a movement for social justice.

And this was back in the day when there were "only" 2.3 million million Mexican Americans identified as "persons of Spanish surname" in the 1970 U.S. Census, accounting for 4.5 percent of the total population (U.S. Census, 1970-2050).  Compare this to today where the approximately 58.9 million Hispanic people in the United States comprise 18.1 percent of the total U.S. population.

If they had the audacity to hope for a better world despite their relatively small numbers, what's impeding us right now?

If there is anything I have learned, it is that our work is never done even as we benefit from the continuing struggles and sacrifices of our political antepasados, our elders in the movement. 

In a July 14, 2012 post to this blog titled, "A Reflection on Age and Generation: Last Weekend’s Raza Unida Party Reunion in Austin," I lend support to the notion advanced in this video that the Raza Unida Party generation was indeed a singular one, changing the course of history.  My message to that generation was, and continues to be:

We needed you then.  We need you now.

Sí se puede!  Yes we can!

-Angela Valenzuela

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