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This digital history project examines the Southern Plains portion of the Chicana/o Civil Rights Movement over time and space through an interactive map and timeline. The project is meant for public and scholarly use. The interactive map and timeline highlight the most important points of the region’s Chicana/o Movement. The geographic points and accompanying images have been found through research in various archives, extensive oral history fieldwork, along with the mining of newspaper and secondary sources. As a digital history project that will continually grow, the interactive map and timeline do not contain all sites of Chicana/o protest or organizing in the Southern Plains. As research on the plains’ Chicana/o Movement matures, this project will also grow. Because of the dearth of archival materials and scholarship on the region’s civil rights movements, some dates are not exact beyond a specific year and month.

Also included is a description of the Southern Plains, a vast region that stretches from central Texas and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands of far west Texas to southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas. The Resources section connects visitors to outside oral history, archival, and multimedia projects. This section also includes a bibliography of scholarship on the Chicana/o Movement and another bibliography of works on the Southern Plains’ Chicana/o Movement.       

Items featured throughout the website, including those in the interactive timeline and map, are also available to view with individual item descriptions in the Browse Items page.


Joel Zapata is a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has published articles in the Great Plains Quarterly, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Review, the Journal of South Texas, and Río Bravo: A Journal of the Borderlands. His other publications range from reference essays, book reviews, to newspaper and magazine articles. Joel’s public history work includes participating in the Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project, ¡Viva Mi Historia!: The Story of Forth Worth Families oral history project, and the successful effort to have the San Elizario Historic Arts District in San Elizario, Texas recognized as a Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts. He also contributed to the creation of the Texas Historical Commission’s Hispanic Texans: Journey from Empire to Democracy, A Guide for Heritage Travelers. For more on Joel's interests and research visit his personal site.