La Raza, launched in 1967 in the basement of an Eastside LA church, was conceived as a tool for community-based organizing during the early days of the Chicano movement. The all-volunteer staff of the newspaper, and the magazine that followed, informed their readers and exhorted them to action through images and articles that showcased protests and demonstrations and documented pervasive social inequity and police abuse. La Raza’s photographers played a critical role as artists, journalists, and activists, creating an unparalleled record of the determination, resilience, and achievements of the Chicana/o community during a period of profound social change.
This volume, edited by Colin Gunckel, presents photographs drawn from the more than 25,000 images in the CSRC’s La Raza Photograph Collection and from the exhibition La Raza, curated by Luis C. Garza and Amy Scott, at the Autry Museum of the American West. The exhibition was a collaboration between the museum and the CSRC. The accompanying essays offer not only scholarly assessments of the role of Chicana/o photographers in social movements and art history but also personal perspectives from La Raza photographers.