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Biography
Elizabeth Martínez

“Elizabeth Martínez’s work comprises one of the most important living histories of progressive activism in the contemporary era.… [Martínez is] inimitable … irrepressible … indefatigable.”—Angela Y. Davis

A Chicana activist, author, and educator, Elizabeth Martínez has published six books and many articles on social movement in the Americas . Her best-known work is 500 years of Chicano History in Pictures, a bilingual history that became the basis for the video she co-directed. Her collection of essays published by South End Press is entitled De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century. Other books include Letters from Mississippi and The Youngest Revolution: A Personal Report on Cuba.

After graduating from Swarthmore College , which awarded her an honorary doctorate in May 2000, she worked in the United Nations Secretariat as a researcher on colonialism in Africa , as an editor at Simon & Schuster; and as Books and Arts Editor of The Nation magazine. During the 1960s, she served fulltime in the Black civil rights movement with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the South and as a coordinator of its New York office. Later she joined the Chicano movement in New Mexico where she founded the bilingual movement newspaper El Grito del Norte (1968-1973) and co-founded the Chicano Communications Center , a barrio-based organizing and education project.

Since moving to the Bay Area in 1976, she has organized on Latino community issues, taught Women’s Studies part-time, conducted anti-racist training workshops, and worked with youth groups. She ran for governor of California on the Peace & Freedom Party ticket in 1982 and has received many awards from student, community, and academic organizations. In 1997, she founded the Institute for MultiRacial Justice, a resource center to help build alliances among peoples of color. Her daughter, Tessa, is an actress and co-founder of San Francisco’s Latina Theater Lab.


South End Press titles by Elizabeth Martínez

cover De Colores Means All of Us
Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century
cover De Colores Means All of Us
Latina Views for a Multi-Colored Century