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A look into the history of the matriarchs of the Department of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley by Jacquelyn Serrano. "In commemoration of the 150 years of women at UC Berkeley, I had the honor of interviewing some of the original women involved with the 1969 Third World Liberation Front at UC Berkeley, including LaNada War Jack, Clementina Duron, Estella Quintanilla, Nina Genera, Maria Elena Ramirez, Victoria Wong, Lea Ybarra, and Theresa Loya Asturias. Our zoom meeting was filled with joyous laughter, recollections of bonds shared, and the struggles that brought them together. It felt like sitting at brunch with a table of wise aunties. As a recent grad of the Ethnic Studies department, I learned the general history of the TWLF, but there was little information detailing the unique experiences of the women from the movement. Our long conversation touched on questions I have held for years. Did their struggles as women of color in the 60s look like the struggles we face today? What did their day-to-day routines during the strike look like? How have they carried this piece of history with them for the past 51 years?"
The mission of the Asian American Political Alliance Oral History Project is to document the history of the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) at UC Berkeley. AAPA was formed in 1968 and its two main chapters were at UC Berkeley, formed by Yuji Ichioka and Emma Gee, and at San Francisco State College by Penny Nakatsu and others. AAPA was an anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, Third World political organization that fought for self-determination and liberation for Asian Americans and emphasized solidarity with Third World peoples in the United States and around the world. Ichioka and Gee were also the co-creators of the term “Asian American” which replaced the term “Oriental” and brought individuals of different Asian backgrounds under a pan-Asian identity for the first time. At both UC Berkeley and San Francisco State, AAPA was a major force in the Third World Liberation Front coalition which joined African American, Asian American, Chicanx, and Native American students in the struggle for Ethnic Studies. Individuals who were involved in AAPA were involved in other struggles for liberation and justice including the KDP, anti-Vietnam War organizing, the Black Panthers, United Farmworkers, and other formations.
Part of the Bancroft Oral History Center's Latino Leadership Series. "Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr. is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley. After 44 years of teaching in higher education, he has gained international prominence as political scientist, historian, journalist, and public intellectual. Dr. Muñoz was the founding chair of the first Chicano Studies department in the nation in 1968 at the California State University at Los Angeles and the founding chair of the National Association of Chicana & Chicano Studies (NACCS). He is a pioneer in the creation of undergraduate and graduate curricula in the disciplines of Chicano/Latino & Ethnic Studies. He is the author of numerous pioneering works on the Mexican American political experience and on African American and Latino political coalitions. His book, Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement won the Gustavus Myers Book Award for "outstanding scholarship in the study of human rights in the United States.” The book was a major resource for the PBS television series Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Muñoz was the senior consultant for the project and was also featured in the series. The HBO movie, "Walkout" was based on that series."
Part of the Bancroft Oral History Center's African American Faculty and Senior Staff Series. "Professor Harry Edwards joined UC Berkeley’s department of sociology in 1971. He conducted pioneering scholarship in the area of sociology of race and sport and is also renowned for his involvement in the famous Black Power salute on the victory podium at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Edwards has long been a controversial figure at UC Berkeley. In fact, several of the narrators interviewed in this series point to his 1974 tenure case when discussing curricular transformation and discrimination in hiring and promotion."
Part of the Bancroft Oral History Center's African American Faculty and Senior Staff Series. "Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Chancellor's Professor Troy Duster came to Berkeley in 1967 from UC Riverside, just on the heels of Berkeley's Free Speech Movement and in advance of the Third World Strike. At Berkeley, Duster played a central role in leading curricular innovation and in building structures to promote and sustain diversity among faculty and students on campus. He consulted closely with University and student leadership to work through major political struggles on campus, including the Third World Strike and the development of the American Cultures requirement, of which he was a Director. He served as Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change and principal investigator for Berkeley's Diversity Project. Professor Duster's research and writing ranges across the sociology of law, deviance, knowledge, inequality, race, science, and education, and is bound by the common thread of interrogating the normative frames that create and organize taxonomies of information and power. Duster's contributions to the area of biogenetic research are critical in shaping scientific inquiry around race, ethnicity, and genetics. Professor Duster brings to this oral history both his very human lived experiences combined with his analytic frame as a sociologist and scholar. In this interview Duster situates his own life and trajectory, and that of his generation, against a backdrop of social transformation that reaches from the pre-Civil Rights era to our present moment as we entertain the notion of a post racial society. This interview reveals his acute clarity about the anatomy of structural inequality and institutional discrimination, what these are made of and how they function, and the potential for strategic interventions. Professor Duster fought hard and creatively to increase access for minorities and women at UC Berkeley. Significant themes of this oral history are: a perspective on the University of California's institutional history from the vantage point of someone who worked for change from within the administration, a perspective on how and why affirmative action policies and programs were built and dismantled, gender and racial discrimination and academic culture, and curricular transformation catalyzed by the social movements of the 1960's."
Part of the Bancroft Oral History Center's African American Faculty and Senior Staff Series. "Professor Banks joined UC Berkeley’s faculty in 1971 in what was then called the Afro American Studies Program. The Program, as part of the Third World College, had been created in response to the Third World Strike of 1969 specifically, and generally, the social movements that defined the 1960’s. Banks played a pivotal, and controversial, role in the direction that the Program took as he became its first ladder rank faculty person, then Director of the Program, and guided the program to departmental status in the College of Letters and Science. He was named chair of the department in 1974. In this interview he shares his perspectives on the birth and the evolution of the African American Studies Department, the culture of UC Berkeley as an institution, the social movements of the 1960’s and seventies, and higher education in the United States."
Harvey Dong is a lecturer in UC Berkeley's Ethnic Studies Department & the owner of Eastwind Books. A Cal graduate, Dong was an active member of the Third World Liberation Front and active in the strike that resulted in the creation of Ethnic Studies at UCB. In this interview, Dong discusses his childhood, his early involvement in activism, and his role and recollections of the Third World Liberation Strike