Chicano

Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity for Mexican Americans in the United States. The identity has also evolved into Xicano or Xicana and, more recently, Xicanx. Chicano/a is sometimes used interchangeably with Mexican American, although the terms have different meanings. While Mexican American identity emerged to encourage assimilation into white American society and separate the community from African American political struggle, Chicano/a identity emerged among anti-assimilationist youth, some of whom belonged to the Pachuco/a subculture, who reclaimed the term. Chicano/a was widely reclaimed in the 1960s and 1970s to express political empowerment, ethnic solidarity, and pride in being of Indigenous descent, diverging from the more assimilationist Mexican American identity. Chicano Movement leaders were influenced by and collaborated with Black Power leaders and activists. Chicano/a youth in barrios rejected cultural assimilation into whiteness and embraced their identity and worldview as a form of empowerment and resistance.


Chicano or Chicana is a chosen identity for Mexican Americans in the United States. The identity has also evolved into Xicano or Xicana and, more recently, Xicanx. Chicano/a is sometimes used interchangeably with Mexican American, although the terms have different meanings. While Mexican American identity emerged to encourage assimilation into white American society and separate the community from African American political struggle, Chicano/a identity emerged among anti-assimilationist youth, some of whom belonged to the Pachuco/a subculture, who reclaimed the term. Chicano/a was widely reclaimed in the 1960s and 1970s to express political empowerment, ethnic solidarity, and pride in being of Indigenous descent, diverging from the more assimilationist Mexican American identity. Chicano Movement leaders were influenced by and collaborated with Black Power leaders and activists. Chicano/a youth in barrios rejected cultural assimilation into whiteness and embraced their identity and worldview as a form of empowerment and resistance.
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