The women of the Brown Berets broke free, formed their own group, and left their mark on the Chicano movement

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Putting pen to paper, Hilda Jensen began her letter: “Hi, I’m the girl with the bandoleros.”

It was 2003 and she was writing to filmmaker Jesús Salvador Treviño from her home in Alabama. She had learned that the cover of his memoir, “Eyewitness,” had a photo of her as a teenager.

Through the years, she’d stumbled on images from the 1960s and ’70s, photos of her and her friends growing up in East Los Angeles and taking part in political actions, including the massive National Chicano Moratorium march and rally against the Vietnam War on Aug. 29, 1970. The photos were in newspapers, books, on a vinyl album cover and shared across the internet.

Jensen noticed that the men in those images were usually identified with their full names. In contrast, the women and girls who participated in the Chicano movement were most often collectively described as Brown Beret Chicanas. Only a few pictures bore their names.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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