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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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The Significance Of A Name
Program #

Social Issues
Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Aug 25, 1976

The Significance of a Name

Richard Goodman discusses the history of the terms Mexicano, Latin American, Mexican American and Chicano. The first name examined is Mexicano, which Mexicans in the Southwest used to claim their new nation. After 1848, once the Southwest became more economically incorporated into the United States, Goodman claims the label served to unify the Mexican population and to distinguish them from other groups, like the Anglos who were moving in. Goodman explains that during the Great Depression, Mexican became a pejorative term for some Mexican Americans. In an effort to challenge discrimination and assert the citizenship of Mexicans in the U.S., Alonso Perales used the term, Latin American, which emphasized both their citizenship and their Spanish surnames in their new civil rights organization., the League of United Latin American Citizenz. Goodman explains that politically involved Mexicans started to refer to themselves as Mexican Americans, a term that asserted their citizenship, the ethnic pride and the blending of U.S. and Mexican cultures. The term Chicano, which Goodman claims was an apolitical term used within the Mexican community to refer to one another, emerged later. According to the author, the term Chicano appeared first in the 1920, but exact origin is unavailable. The author describes the relationship of “Chicano” to terms like Latin American, Mexican American and Mexican among Chicanos as well as mainstream society.


Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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