Significant Themes that have impacted the Mexican American Population Since 1900

The Need for Cheap Labor in the U.S

America was experiencing economic development in the late 1880s. At the same time, Mexico was trying to fight its colonies and most of them fled the country in search of peace. Majority of Mexican immigrant settled on their southwest boarder where they could easily access the United States. The most preferred destination included Texas and California. The migrants were attracted by various factors which included the familiarity of the place with them, since it was initially part of Mexico with terrain and climate that was familiar to them, especially those originating from northern states of Mexico. This part was also selected since it was highly accessible section of the United States, particularly due to the presence of railroad connecting central Mexico to cities of the United States. The Mexican families that settled on this area earlier also offered financial aid and encouragement and hence attracting many more Mexican into this area. This high level of immigration became of great help to the United States, especially the Southwest parts of the country. It highly became the main source of labor to the growing economy of the county. The country had a number of construction sites in different public works systems, on ranches, in food and services establishment and in lumbering camps. Most of these immigrants were employed in agriculture, railroad maintenance, and mining. Normally these sectors could easily accommodate unskilled and semi-skilled personnel.  The Mexican immigrant served well, as cheap labor to the American developing economy (Gonzales121).

The United States had learnt of superabundance of various mineral wealth that included copper, silver and coal in Arizona, particularly the Southern part of Arizona. Tombstone was also found to contain silver, though with labor shortage. The opening of these mining industries as more discoveries were made attracted more Mexican immigrant into different parts of the United States in search for labor. More Mexican citizens also landed jobs in old mines as well as new mines, to the level that mining of both copper and silver ended up being the Arizona economic backbone. It also attracted more Mexican immigrant such that they contributed to about 43% of mining workforce in the Arizona (Gonzales122). The need for cheap labor in the American mines and agricultural sectors thus attracted a huge number of Mexicans, making majority of them to consider migrating to the south were they could easily access the country. Cheap labor seems to be a better option for Mexicans who were experiencing revolution, and hence a high level of political instability, financial struggle and war. The immigration of Mexican to America has also been featured in Latino American: Empire of Dreams which features how most Mexican immigrated in masses at around 1880 to join other earlier immigrant with the aim of fulfilling their dreams. Most of them immigrated after losing everything they had during the war, and they hoped to rebuild their life, settling around Puerto Rico Island. They therefore took cheap labor in various sectors with the hope of living their dreams. To them, this was much better than the situation in their country. The Americans on the other hand took advantage of their situation to acquire cheap labor, especially for their mining and agricultural industries.

Chicano Art and Culture

Flowering of artistic and cultural of Chicano was one of the positive Post-Chicano generation achievements. There was growth in the level of Mexican education as well as their level of creativity. Chicano scholars where in 1960s featured in narratives, with some of the contributors including Erlinda Gonzales_berry, Juan Bruce-Novoa, and Tey Diana Rebolledo among others (Gonzales252). There was also emergence of poetry among other imaginative literature in the Spanish-language newspaper columns majority created by upper-class Mexican Revolution political refugees especially in the last half of the 19th century. Los Angeles La Opinion   and San Antonio La Prensa were among the most popular of such publications. The first Mexican American publication was done in 1959, this was followed by a biography which featured the struggle that children of Mexican immigrants experienced in the America at Santa Clara valley in California between 1920s and 1930s. The growth of Chicano culture and art was also highly facilitated by Chicano movement which emphasized more on regeneration of culture. The movement promoted the emergence of vibrant dramatists, novelists, short-story, and poets authors and established their themes choices for the future. Chicanas by the 1980s were turning to be highly noticeable professional writers, with great impact being felt in the education sector. Their works featured feminist themes integrated with subjects they had in common with their male colleagues. Some of these themes included identity search, cultural conflict, alienation, and racial oppression. Women’s study country wide programs advent also made Chicana literature more famous, since it stressed on multiculturalism featured in academic institution during this era. Chicano featured more in short stories genre. Poetry also continued to grow among Chicano writers despite the end of Chicano Movement. Other Chicano writers focused on sexuality where they explored issues of gender in drama and novel (Gonzales253).

Although Chicano recorded an exceptional achievement in literature, their accomplishments in film were just considerably less meaningful. At the industry inception, movies provoked an enthusiastic reaction in United States communities that originated from Mexico. There were popular Mexico made films where Mexican actors starred.  The Mexican made films also attracted a certain intimate association between actors and audience. Most Mexican actors could visit large cities and small communities equally in the United States in 1940s and 1950s. Mexicanos based on the research have been always exemplified in the Hollywood. This representation includes stereotypical featuring of Mexicans negatively as immoral mistresses, unfaithful lovers, and criminal bandits. The film industry most pleasing development after movimiento was unexpected Chicanos appearance behind the camera as directors, producers and writers, who mostly worked as independent productions rather than in major studios (Gonzales257).

Plastic art is another area of art where Chicano featured, with primary themes that were similar to those of literature. Mural painting was among the most popular Chicano artistic expression. There was Chicano mural movement which emerged in late 1960s that was operational in Los Angeles and San Diego. Majority of muralists ultimately grew to easel painting a kind of artistic expression which grew concurrently with mural tradition. Chicanos were also attracted by print making with a number participating in graphic artists. A good example can be seen in the video documentary Latino Americans: Prejudice and Pride where they feature farm workers carrying placard with various graphics which contained meaning. They also performed considerably well in sculptures where sculptures featuring Mexicans traditions dated up to 18th century were presented. Nevertheless, their achievement in music was considerably less compared to other kinds of arts, with few featured traditional music and modern music that is influenced by American culture for instance orquesta music (Gonzales261). Based on this discussion the Mexican immigrant experience in the U.S. has contributed a great deal in the development of their art and culture changes with time.

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