I knew how I came to be here in Atzlan
, and I knew why those of us who identified as Mexican all looked so different.
That is, there was explicit rhetoric around the desire to retake the southwestern part of the United States, pointing back to the historical land mass called Atzlan
. Connected with this nationalism was the idea that Mexican Americans were neither Mexican nor American but were, instead, a unique sociocultural group/citizenry with a specific and unique history, culture, and language; hence, the term Chicano/a came to be affiliated with this unique social-cultural grouping as well as the political (nationalist) ideology that was being forged.
For the most radical, 'Latino' not only affirmed cultural differences with Anglo America, but also signaled defiance, kindling a vision of a liberated nationhood, whether in a Southwestern Atzlan
, an independent Puerto Rico or a mythos of a national Latinidad.
Consider, for example, that on many college campuses the student group MEChA (Movi emiento Estudiantil Chicanos de Atzlan
) is considered a "Recognized Student Organizations." There are presidents of universities, faculty, staff, program directors, principals, teachers, and school staff who are Xicana/o within educational institutions (as but one example of institutional incorporation).
Influenced, even as he critiques them, by Chicano/a nationalist writings on the dreamed and desired recuperability of an Atzlan
home within the territory of the southwest United States, De Genova insists on making Mexican Chicago his subject, following his informants in largely eschewing "Mexican American" as a term and seeing the Mexican character not just of enclaves but of the whole city.
"Our Culture Hell: Feminism in Atzlan
," is also the title of a paper prepared by Francisca Flores for the Pacific Coast Council on Latin American Studies Conference in California, Monterey, October 26-28, 1972.
In my discussion, I have shown how the murals of Casa Atzlan
provide a symbolic space for reconstituting the local community.
Massey et al., Return to Atzlan
: The Social Process of International Migration from Western Mexico (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987).
Frida, can you imagine how the world beyond Atzlan
admires your pain?
The 2001 Conference was held in Yananawa/San Antonio; center of the Payaya-Coahuilteco homeland, core of Atzlan
, Chicano homeland/place of first migration, and home of the Alamo, a "Shrine of Texas freedom," according to hegemonic national history.