Sal Castro and the Chicano Struggle for Educational Justice

By Mario T. García, Sal Castro

384 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 30 hts, appends., notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-1898-2
    Published: August 2014
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-0-8078-7791-3
    Published: March 2011
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-8503-6
    Published: March 2011

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In March 1968, thousands of Chicano students walked out of their East Los Angeles high schools and middle schools to protest decades of inferior and discriminatory education in the so-called "Mexican Schools." During these historic walkouts, or "blowouts," the students were led by Sal Castro, a courageous and charismatic Mexican American teacher who encouraged the students to make their grievances public after school administrators and school board members failed to listen to them. The resulting blowouts sparked the beginning of the urban Chicano Movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the largest and most widespread civil rights protests by Mexican Americans in U.S. history.

This fascinating testimonio, or oral history, transcribed and presented in Castro's voice by historian Mario T. García, is a compelling, highly readable narrative of a young boy growing up in Los Angeles who made history by his leadership in the blowouts and in his career as a dedicated and committed teacher. Blowout! fills a major void in the history of the civil rights and Chicano movements of the 1960s, particularly the struggle for educational justice.

About the Authors

Mario T. García is professor of Chicana/o studies and adjunct professor in history and religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
For more information about Mario T. García, visit the Author Page.

Sal Castro (1933-2013) was an American educator and activist.
For more information about Sal Castro, visit the Author Page.


“A worthy learning experience. Solidly researched, with extensive notes, photographs, and a valuable appendix of Chicano historiography. Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”—Choice

"The book fills an important place in the history of the Chicano movement." —Latin American Review of Books

"This book is an important contribution to Chicano history and the field of American education."—The El Paso Times

"This book is a significant contribution to the literature of the Chicano/a movement."—Journal of American History

“A compelling story of individual courage and commitment personified by Sal Castro. . . . A masterful and inspirational life story that is brilliantly contextualized by the larger Chicano Movement.”—Journal of American Studies

“An excellent read for casual readers as well as serious students of the Chicano experience, education, the history of the 1960s, leadership development, and California history. It will make an excellent choice for undergraduate classroom use and reading lists.”—Western Historical Quarterly

Multimedia & Links

Watch: Sal Castro on YouTube.

Learn more about the HBO film Walkout.

Visit Sal Castro's Facebook page.

Watch & Read: L.A. Times Festival of Books, May 2011: See C-SPAN Book-TV coverage of the Hispanic Experience Panel, featuring Castro and Garcia. Also read the Times' great coverage of the event.