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They Called Me King Tiger: A Biography of the Chicano Malcolm X

View on the Pragda STREAM site

Dubbed “King Tiger” and “the Malcolm X of the Chicano Movement,” Reies López Tijerina inspired Mexican-American college students of the late 1960s and early 1970s to start the Chicano Civil Rights Movement that stressed ethnic pride, ethnic studies, and opposition to police brutality. The Chicano movement eventually faded away, and everyone thought the same of Tijerina. People speak of him as a saint, an illuminated man, a man looking for a fair cause through violence…but at the time of the production of this film, King Tiger was alive, living in Mexico, and wanting to tell his story.

Tijerina was a Mexican-American radical and civil rights activist who led a land-grant movement in northern New Mexico from 1956 to 1976. He organized hundreds of Chicanos to demand repatriation of land confiscated by Anglo surveyors.

In June of 1967, the court of Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, was assaulted by armed men under Tijerina’s command. The outcome resulted in the largest manhunt in the recent history of the United States. They Called Me King Tiger attempts to offer a balanced view of Reies López Tijerina, with testimonials from Tijerina’s relatives, activists, academics, and policemen who participated in the Tierra Amarilla event.

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