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Latino/a Mobility in California History

Genevieve Carpio, Javier Cienfuegos, Ivonne Gonzalez, Karen Lazcano, Katherine Lee Berry, Joshua Mandell, Christofer Rodelo, Alfonso Toro, Authors

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The Eagle Murals

The eagle has been noted as a famous non religious symbol in the Chicana/o art movement via the usage of “feathers, the Mexican eagle, the UFW black eagle, and the US eagle (all with different meanings” ( Goldman,  1993, 30) in murals. Historically, the eagle is also an honorable symbol in the Aztec Empire and an image that represents bravery and freedom.

In order to portray this iconography, the slideshow  that I utilized shows visuals of murals that focus on the image of the eagle found in San Diego and in East Los Angeles. The eagle is presented in both a realistic form and in the shape of the United Farm Workers logo designed by Cesar Chavez. The song “Cesar Chavez” by Los Tigres del Norte plays in the background to enforce the political activism aspects of this image.  The song’s lyrics even mentions how Cesar Chavez liberated the “Campesinos” (farm workers) and let them free, and how “in his honor the birds (eagles) will sing once the farm is no longer contaminated.”

When asked, “What are the words/thoughts that come to mind while watching the Eagle murals?” The surveyors answered “Community, family, nature freedom” along with “Revolutionary, action, and mobility, Strength, struggle, Tenochtitlan” and “Migration, Labor, land.” The eagle evidently possesses a different type of strength than the virgin, it is a more political strength that is intertangled with multiple meanings and specially associated with the United Farm Workers. According to one of the surveyers, “The aguila (eagle) gives a different kind of strength than the virgin and based in militancy and strength. I think of the power of imagination in creating, these now uses of the eagle.In the mural presented in this slideshow titled “Dreams of Flight, Botello mentions that  “The notion of flight then metaphorically stands for the aspirations and dreams that have traditionally been denied to Mexican and Chicana/o children from areas like East Los Angeles. (Latorre, 2008, 152).

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