The Legacy of Bobby Lee Verdugo, A Leader Of East LA WalkoutsBreaking News
tags: obituaries, racism, civil rights, Los Angeles, 1960s, Chicano movement
At his Lincoln Heights high school in the late 1960s, Bobby Lee Verdugo was a popular football player and gentle jokester, with teasing eyes peeking out from under bushy brows. His playfulness got him in trouble, especially when he spoke Spanish. The teacher would march him to the front of the class to get paddled.
"As a young Chicano, I want to be tough, so you don't want to complain too much," Verdugo recounted to Latino USA in 2018. "But it hurt the spirit, you know. Little by little, they were breaking me."
It wasn't just the corporal punishment that was building up anger in Verdugo and other Latino students at Lincoln High School. It was also the disregard of their culture and language, being tracked into vocational classes, being treated like their futures were dead-ends.
Verdugo decided to do something about it. On March 6, 1968, he was among the students who led a walkout in protest of unequal education.
"I remember being in the hallways yelling, 'Walk out!' and being confronted by the vice principal telling me to go back to my class," Verdugo told Latino USA.
Verdugo, who became one of the founders of the Chicano student movement that day and then spent much of his life mentoring youth, died Friday following a heart attack and a years-long struggle with diabetes. He was 69.
comments powered by Disqus
- The Debt Ceiling Law is now a Tool of Partisan Political Power; Abolish It
- Amitai Etzioni, Theorist of Communitarianism, Dies at 94
- Kagan, Sotomayor Join SCOTUS Cons in Sticking it to Unions
- New Evidence: Rehnquist Pretty Much OK with Plessy v. Ferguson
- Ohio Unions Link Academic Freedom and the Freedom to Strike
- First Round of Obama Administration Oral Histories Focus on Political Fault Lines and Policy Tradeoffs
- The Tulsa Race Massacre was an Attack on Black People; Rebuilding Policies were an Attack on Black Wealth
- British Universities are Researching Ties to Slavery. Conservative Alumni Say "Enough"
- Martha Hodes Reconstructs Her Memory of a 1970 Hijacking
- Jeremi Suri: Texas Higher Ed Conflict "Doesn't Have to Be This Way"
- New transcript of Ayn Rand at West Point in 1974 shows she claimed “savage" Indians had no right to live here just because they were born here
- The Mexican War Suggests Ukraine May End Up Conceding Crimea. World War I Suggests the Price May Be Tragic if it Doesn't
- The Vietnam War Crimes You Never Heard Of