1968 Walkouts talk at VPAM

UCLA Professor Carlos Haro talks about the injustice faced by Chicano students during the 1968 student walkout photo presentation at the Vincent Price Museum on Thursday. CN/Vicky Nguyen

By Steven Adamo

Photos from the 1968 Chicana/o walkouts was the topic of discussion at the Vincent Price Art Museum yesterday for the 50th anniversary of the walkouts.

The photographs shared are part of a larger exhibit currently on display at the Chicano Studies Research Center at UCLA, curated by the speaker of the event, Dr. Carlos Manuel Haro, PhD and UCLA Assistant Director Emeritus.

The exhibit at UCLA is separated into multiple themes including the 1968 walkouts at Roosevelt high school, the East Los Angeles 13, the struggle to reinstate Sal Castro and the walkouts of 1970.

Haro shared slides that demonstrated how publications like La Raza reported the walkouts differently from the major print and broadcast news outlets.

“They entered school grounds, clubbed students with their batons and they arrested them,” Haro said, “something you didn’t see on television either.” The footage can be seen in the 1996 documentary “Chicano!: the history of the Mexican American civil rights movement,” which is available on YouTube.com.

Aside from the treatment, Haro said the students were protesting many things including the schools themselves. “They were building new buildings in other high schools, but our East L.A. schools were not being built,” Haro said.

Haro discussed the importance of sharing these materials with the public by quoting Sal Castro, an educator and activist who had a large role in the 1968 walkouts:

“If you don’t know your history then your history doesn’t exist. If you don’t educate yourself and write your history, then somebody else is going to write it and they’re going to get it wrong.”

Haro personally donated materials he collected, including both mainstream and underground newspapers. A large portion of materials was donated by former Congressman Edward R. Roybal, as well as photographer Oscar Castillo who was also in the audience.

The photography exhibit will be on display at the Chicano Research Center at UCLA throughout the summer. UCLA is also offering a free summer course to ELAC students.

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