Cultures & Communities
Furniture, cooking wares, clothing, works of art, and many other kinds of artifacts are part of what knit people into communities and cultures. The Museum’s collections feature artifacts from European Americans, Latinos, Arab Americans, Asian Pacific Americans, African Americans, Gypsies, Jews, and Christians, both Catholics and Protestants. The objects range from ceramic face jugs made by enslaved African Americans in South Carolina to graduation robes and wedding gowns. The holdings also include artifacts associated with education, such as teaching equipment, textbooks, and two complete schoolrooms. Uniforms, insignia, and other objects represent a wide variety of civic and voluntary organizations, including youth and fraternal groups, scouting, police forces, and firefighters.
"Cultures & Communities - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Following the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the annexation of Texas, the land claims of many Mexican families were not respected, either by the new English-speaking settlers or by the U.S. government. Dispossession from family- and community-owned lands dealt a severe economic blow to the livelihood of generations of Mexican Americans. The issue of land evokes especially bitter memories in New Mexico. In 1967, the year this poster was made with the slogan Tierra o Muerte, meaning Land or Death, a Hispanic land rights organization called La Alianza, led by Reies López Tijerina, raided the Rio Arriba County courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico. In addition to reclaiming land from the government of New Mexico, the goals of the raid were to free imprisoned Alianza members and to arrest the district attorney who was prosecuting them as communists and outside agitators. The raid on the courthouse was ultimately unsuccessful and Tijerina served time in a federal prison. Although seen by some as a divisive figure, Reies López Tijerina was as recognizable as Cesar Chavez to many Chicano activists of the late 1960s. Mirroring similar political tensions in the African American community, Chicano civil rights activists were torn between leaders such as Chavez, who advocated nonviolence, and leaders like Tijerina, whose political strategy was decidedly more militant.
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- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center