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NMSU hosts film viewing, public forum about New Mexico's Black Berets

A part of New Mexico's role in the Chicano Movement, "New Mexico's Black Berets: An Untold Story," is the subject of a community showing of a documentary in progress, followed by a public discussion at New Mexico State University on Thursday, Aug. 30, from 4 - 6 p.m. in the theatre in Milton Hall. Anyone may attend at no cost.

Poster of "New Mexico's Black Berets: An Untold Story" shows animated colorful people.
"New Mexico's Black Berets: An Untold Story" is a series of community outreach efforts across the state focused on New Mexico's role in the Chicano Movement. The program includes a public showing of a documentary followed by a panel discussion at New Mexico State University. (Submitted poster)

The public viewing of the documentary "American Blowback: New Mexico's Black Berets" focuses on the community activist group which operated in Albuquerque from 1969-73. Founding member of the New Mexico Black Berets Richard Moore will lead a panel discussion after the film. The panel also will include Southern New Mexico activists Shirley Baca, Erwin Rivera, Ignacio (Nacho) Quinones, and independent filmmaker and scholar Federico Reade, who produced the documentary on the Black Berets. NMSU assistant professors Marisol Ruiz, curriculum and instruction, and Dulcinea Lara, criminal justice, will moderate the discussion. Other community discussions are planned in other parts of the state this fall including Las Vegas and Albuquerque.

"The Black Berets addressed social justice issues affecting all peoples; they challenged stereotypes that had been accepted ways of living and the lives of the marginalized at every level," said Dulcinea Lara, assistant professor of criminal justice. "They formed alliances throughout the state by organizing through social activism and working with communities to exert their right to self-determination. The Black Berets promoted needed social change such as organizing the first Community Health Clinic and a breakfast program for children."

Photographs of the Black Berets will be on display at NMSU's Conroy Honors Center Gallery at 2745 S. Espina from Aug. 29 - Oct 26. An opening reception for the exhibit is planned on Wednesday, Aug. 29, from 4-6 p.m.

This program has been made possible by a "We the People Project" grant from the New Mexico Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, New Mexico Film Institute, and UNM's Center for Regional Studies. Sponsors also include Echo's de Aztlan, Los Jardines Institute, the Media Literacy Project, and Academic Activists at NMSU.

For more information about the photographic exhibit, call 646-2005.