Front cover image for Chicano Park

Chicano Park

Each year, residents of San Diego's Barrio Logan celebrate the events of April 22, 1970 when members of La Raza and other groups took over land slated for redevelopment and established Chicano Park. This documentary meshes archival footage, photographs and contemporary interviews to trace the history of Barrio Logan and its struggles to reclaim a part of "Aztlan," the mythical Aztec kingdom of the Southwest that has come to symbolize the powerful renewal of Chicano pride. Once the second largest Chicano community on the west coast, Barrio Logan was home to Mexican immigrants, who in the 1920's, filtered over the porous border to labor as longshoreman and cannery workers. During the Depression, the neighborhood was fragmented when Mexican-American residents were deported under government decree to protect the jobs of Anglos. With the outbreak of World War II, Chicanos were again recruited, this time to labor in the aircraft and naval industries and the community blossomed again. Barrio Logan was rezoned for industrial expansion in the 1950's; the Coronado Bridge was constructed and inhabitants displaced. In the 1960's, residents, following the model of the Civil Rights Movement, initiated a long but ultimately successful crusade to preserve a parcel of land under the freeway for a park. Among the most ardent activists were artists who began covering the huge stanchions of Coronado Bridge with colorful murals depicting Aztec and Mayan myth and honoring Chicano heroes. In recent years, the inhabitants of Barrio Logan have weathered additional rounds of urban redevelopment but in 1987, won the right to expand Chicano Park to the bay
Film, English, 1989
Cinema Guild, New York, 1989
1 film reel (58 min.) : sound, color ; 16 mm
Tony Plana.
Director, Marilyn Mulford; writers, Juan Felipe Herrera, Gary Weimberg.