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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? David Lozano is director and co-author of the play, Crystal City 1969, currently presented by Cara Mia Theatre. He talks to us about researching a protest he’d never heard of, about a walkout sparked by deep discrimination, a walkout that led to a change in Mexican-American aspirations.


  • Read Tina Aguilar’s blog posts about Crystal City 1969 here, here, here and voila, here.

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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.