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Brown Berets

Page history last edited by Justin Boyd 12 years ago

Brown Berets

They are a group of "Chicanos" that fight for being against police brutality and advocate educational equality. The Brown Berets were one of the most prominent Chicano group during the civil right era of the 1960s and 70s. They were very similar to the Black Panther movement on how they took a more action oriented approach to the rights of Mexican Americans. The best symbol was part of their name which is their iconic brown berets that they wore to rallies and protests and on march's through towns. To this day they continue to fight for the liberation of Aztlan. A interview with Carlos Montes reavled that the Berets were the poor working families who were growing up with police brutality and racism. to top


The History 

The history of the Brown Berets begins with the founder Don Williams and Carlos Montes and has originated in Los Angeles, California. In their history they celebrated the first Cinco de Mayo in San Diego city schools at Mar Vista High School. In 1968 they start opening chapters in other states like New Mexico, Arizona, Wisconsin, and Colorado and become a national movement.  To understand why they did all this by founding this organization and spreading across the country you need to know what was happening the Mexican Americans in the 60s and 70s. In the 60s and 70s most immigrants like and other races than white were treated with disrespect and thought of less than others , and the Brown Berets founders Williams and Montes wanted to bring awareness to the plight of the Mexican Americans. By September of 1968, the Brown Berets became a national organization having opened chapters California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico,Milwaukee, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Indiana. They did bring awareness to the Mexican Americans but didn't make any significance changes to governmental law. The first official Brown Beret unit was created in 1967 East Los Angeles and the first demonstration was against the police brutality.to top





The Brown Berets Today


Now and days the Brown Berets have died off a little but they still have chapters in  Boise, Watsonville, Fresno, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake City. They still hold true to their belief for fight for Chicano rights'. They have shifted from police brutality to more immigration reform. They are now fighting the deportation of Chicano back to Mexico and much of what they do is only found on their sites or other possibly biased sites like fight back news. They still do the Marches around certain towns and cites but for the most part they have lost power but they are starting to gain members from the youth again just like when they firsted started. They have become more of a peaceful organization and now just lead protests and organize events to help spread the Chicano message of equality for them and everybody around because they don't got no violence any more. Anaheim, California the Brown Berets held a rally to voice their opions about the Arizona immigration laws  "You are white!", "Go back to Europe!" and "This is Mexican land!" that is what the marchers shouted through the megaphones that they were carrying on them along with the iconic Brown Berets.


The Movement

One movement of the brown berets was to change school conditions for Mexican Americans. On March 1, 1968, the Brown Berets planned and participated in the East LA walkouts or "blowouts" the largest and lengthiest in the history of California, in which thousands of students left their classrooms to join the protest for quality education. Even today the Watsonville chapter is still doing the movement with the May 27, 2005 Youth and Power event over 400 people were in attendance to the event. In August of 2010 members of the Brown Berets attendend the 40th anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium in Los Angeles, California. The movement has not died but the numbers are not what they use to be since most factions of the Brown the Berets were separated till Jeromino Blanco united the various factions made new reforms and got recruitment  up by hundreds and just a few months. During the summer of love 1969 they were able to unite the barrios together and create barrio peace and unity on a national level which allowed more Chicanos to unite and stand up for what is right against the wrong.  to top


Personal Reflections



The novel Sammy and Juliana did change my view about the past but not the present as the present is messed up anyways. The reason why I changed my past was it showed me the hardships of the Chicanos which is overlooked sometimes by the other civil rights movements which in my mind is wrong and awful thing to do. It showed the discrimination and how bad it was I thought that the other races during the civil rights got it easy but it seems everyone was a victim to the cruelty of the era. It truly showed me what wrong things America did back in the past but that is the key point the past now we must focus and try not to mess up the present and create another hate filled world. The project was very enlightening as it showed me the reason why Sammy did what he did during the school sit in just like the ones organized by the Brown Berets which in my mind Sammy should join. In some ways the novel and the Brown Berets want the samething to bring attention to Mexican Americans and make a change in the lives of all Mexican Americans and bring equality. It really showed me the true hardships of the Chicanos and the stories of police brutality in East Los Angeles sounds horrible and now I see why the characters of the novel and the Brown Berets share the common interest. This project did show me a lot about the world around me especially since I live in Greeley, Colorado which has mix diversity of Mexicans, and Chicanos who all live in this one town. Now I understand them better or I think I do anyways that is my personal reflection on the whole ordeal and its grievances.



     The book Sammy and Juliana helped me understand more how mexican-american's life styles affect america as a whole. Mexican American’s life style in ghetto’s like Hollywood make the American dream they search for impossible. Poverty stricken neighbor hoods are black holes to them, once you’re in, you never get out. This book made me see from the perspective of a less fortunate being who deals with death and mental illnesses. Within the society, Sammy deals with significant change in his personality as the book moves on. The arrogant younger Sammy finds him self in an emotional tug-of-war inside him self. It makes me think about the other side of American life style.


This book did somewhat change my view on the world because it made me think of how fragile and brittle the world can be and how the world can be a cruel, vicious place. But it also made me view the world as this very small, and made me think of how the world is like a bomb thats rigged to blow with the slightest touch because if a major event happens it can cause that bomb to explode and send the world tumbling. It also changed my perspective on life because everything in life is like a gift and should be trated with love and compassion to make sure it dosent run away and leave. This project made me think on how the characters in this book live their lives because there in a not-so-good community and made me think of the hardships on the characters and the payload on their backs. Also this project was about the Brown Berets which is a very small militia group so the Chicanos fight back for all the hardships in their commmunity (Unfair jobs, poor schools etc) Which says that even the lesser people in the community ladder want a better life for everyone and made me think that why cant the whole world just be one equal place for everyone to live in?


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Brown Berets. "History." Home. Brown Berets, 20 Mar. 2007. Web. 24 May 2011.



Kent, Tom. "Brown Berets Target Rally Held By Supporters Of Arizona's Immigration Law, Shout "Go Back To Europe!" (VIDEO).

     " Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Huffingtonpost, 20 July 2010. Web. 24 May 2011. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/20/brown-berets-target-rally_n_652905.html.


Staff. "The Brown Berets: Young Chicano Revolutionaries | Fight Back!" Fight Back! | News and Views from the People's Struggle. Fightbacknews,

      1 Feb. 2003. Web. 24 May 2011. http://www.fightbacknews.org/2003winter/brownberets.htm.


Watsonville Berets. "Autonomous Chapter." Watsonville Brown Berets. Watsonville Berets,

     June 2005. Web. 24 May 2011. <http://brownberets.info/>.


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