The exhibition catalog for LA RAZA, edited by Colin Gunckel, won five awards this year, including the gold medal in history at the Independent Publisher Book Awards. The other four awards were given at the 2020 International Latino Book Awards and include the following: Winner: Best Art Book; Winner: Best Academic Book; Winner: Best Cover Photo; Honorable Mention: Victor Villaseñor Latino-Focused Nonfiction book.
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 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 Chicano community during a period of profound social change.
This catalog presents photographs from the La Raza exhibition at the Autry Museum of the American West and the more than 25,000 images in the La Raza Photograph Collection at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. The essays offer not only scholarly assessments of the role of Chicanx photographers in social movements and art history but also personal perspectives from La Raza photographers.