In the late 1960s, Mexican American and Chicana/o students and faculty began to create new cultural and academic spaces at the University of Southern California (USC). As outspoken advocates, they promoted a collective social identity as they questioned USC’s commitment to fulfilling the moral and humanistic responsibilities of its educational mission. These students and faculty members took part in the formation of ethnic studies and Chicana/o studies on their campus and in higher education generally. Their activist contributions, however, have been ignored by USC and by most of the scholarly community. Yet, through their work and use of parrhesia (saying what one means with frank speech), the core Chicana/o movement concepts of Aztlán (the conception of a sacred homeland, borrowed from the Aztec cosmovision archetype of origins) and Chicanismo (a collective Chicana/o cultural nationalism) have been woven into the mythology of USC, creating a Chicana/o legacy of deep education and learning.

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