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Art&Seek on Think TV: ‘Crystal City 1969’

by Jerome Weeks 15 Dec 2009 5:41 AM

The late ’60s saw a tidal wave of student protests — anti-war protests, civil rights protests. So what made a now-mostly-forgotten walkout of Mexican-American high schoolers in a small Texas town 40 years ago so significant?


  • Video interview with David Lozano from Think TV, December 11, 2009
    • Read Tina Aguilar’s blog posts about Crystal City 1969 here, here, here and voila, here.

    David Lozano was the artistic director of Cara Mia Theatre from 2002 to 2006. He’s back — as director and co-author (with Raul Trevino, Jr.) of the play, Crystal City 1969 — about a high school walkout in the small Texas town. What may have seemed a blowup over “kid’s stuff” — arguments about cheerleading or homecoming — was actually tied to much deeper, pervasive discrimination against the adult population as well. In a town that was 85 percent Mexican-American or Mexican, the students were forbidden to speak Spanish, could not eat Mexican food and were regularly steered by their counselors away from white-collar careers towards — the U. S. military. In fact — not mentioned in our interview (not enough time!) — this ‘minor’ student protest would lead to fundamental changes in the town’s establishment — as Mexican-Americans began running for office — and even the creation of the political party, La Raza Unida.