About | Chicana por mi Raza

About

What is Chicana por mi Raza?

 

Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective is a group of historians, educators, researchers, archivists and technologists dedicated to preserving imperiled Chicanx and Latinx histories of the long Civil Rights Era. Started by Professor Maria Cotera and filmmaker Linda Garcia Merchant in 2009, CPMR has traveled to over one dozen states, interviewed more than 70 people, and collected hundreds of hours of oral histories and scanned archives for preservation and access. Using largely volunteer and student labor, CPMR pioneers a model for grass roots history creation that encourages further research into both Latinx studies and a model for grassroots digitzation projects. The overarching objective of the project is to provide broad‐based public access to oral histories, material culture, correspondence, and rare out‐of‐print publications for use in both scholarly research and the classroom. 

Collection Details

 

Chicana por mi Raza began collecting oral histories in 2009. Since then, the CPMR team has interviewed more than 52 women. From these interviews we've collected and processed approximately 5500 archival items, with another 3000 or so awaiting digitizing, description and uploading. Most of the oral histories consist of several hours of film footage, and some women have been interviewed more than once. Our online digital repository currently contains approximately 4900 available digital records and over 439 interview clips.

 

Browse Recovered Histories

Frances Sandoval Melendez

Frances Sandoval Melendez was born in 1953 in the Trumbull Park area of Chicago, Illinois. She lived with her parents and three sisters, who were “the first Mexicans” to own a house in a mostly Jewish and Polish community. Frances grew up going to Catholic school and attended Saint Casimir’s, now known as Our Lady of Tepeyac. She started noticing inequality as young as at eight years old, when the nuns at her school called on and gave more positive attention to the white students than to her. Thus, Frances became aware of racism and inequality from an early age.