Myra Luna Lucero | Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Communication, Media & Learning Technologies Design

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Narrative History: South Martineztown Residents

Myra Luna Lucero, M.A. in Communication and Education

Using privately held archives, this article examines a body of letters written by residents through the Citizens Information Committee of Martineztown (CICM) in Albuquerque, NM. Residents wrote these letters in support of a renewal and preservation campaign. Citizens of this community sought to defend their land, homes, identity, and cultural history from threats of widespread resident removal for non-residential redevelopment initiatives. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the community employed complementary strategies of a mobilizing battle cry, or grito, and collective voice through letter writing as they articulated their historical narrative from 1970-1989. I argue that letters work to advance the goals of small community social movements in three ways. First, they cultivate relational ties through trust, respect, and relationship to place. Secondly, letters grant social power to residents, leaders, and grassroots organizations affiliated with the movement. Lastly, letters help unify diverse constituencies. These rhetorical functions emerged through examination of South Martineztown residents’ efforts as a single case study.

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