Date of Award
Master of Arts
Yolanda Chavez Leyva
The life of journalist Rubén Salazar is often linked to his time as a reporter/columnist for the Los Angeles Times during the Chicana/o Movement and his death at the Chicano Anti-War Moratorium in East Los Angeles on August 29, 1970. After his death, he became a martyr of the Chicana/o civil rights movement and his life and work have mostly been obscured by different attempts to personify him, overlooking aspects of his earlier life. Salazar was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico in 1928 and his family later moved to El Paso, Texas in 1929, where he was raised and educated. His time growing up in El Paso, a city with a historically Mexican/Mexican American majority population, was unique because he lived in the South at a time when civil rights were being denied to ethnic minorities. Upon graduating high school, he would attend Texas College of Mines and Metallurgy, later renamed Texas Western University, now the University of Texas at El Paso. Salazar would study journalism and write for the schoolâ??s student newspaper, the Prospector, exhibiting the type of character and intrepidness of his later work as a professional journalist.
This Thesis examines his time writing for the college newspaper, a period of his life that has thus far not been studied, to reveal that Salazar's penchant for addressing the issues of race, class, and discrimination were present at the inception of his career as a writer. It is also the intent of this study to show how Salazar dealt with being an ethnic Mexican in a setting where he was in the minority and his ethnicity often made him the target of discrimination and exclusion. By analyzing this period of his life, correlations can be made to his later career to show that he was proud of his Mexican heritage and had long been an advocate for recognizing the civil rights of disenfranchised communities.
Using available primary sources such as Salazarâ??s own writing at the student publication, to that of others from his time there, the journalist's own words and sentiments are used to give context for the significance of his time working at the Prospector and its relevance to his later career. The findings of this research help provide a glimpse into a period that has received little scholarly attention and contribute a more expansive understanding of the life and work of Salazar, whose legacy is often dominated by his martyrdom.
Received from ProQuest
Gustavo Del Hierro
Del Hierro, Gustavo, "Strange Rumblings in El Chuco: Ruben Salazar Writes for the Prospector, 1947-48 & 1953-54" (2016). Open Access Theses & Dissertations. 833.