WAR OF THE FLEA:
THE FIGHT FOR XICANO STUDIES
FIlM OVERVIEW AND PURPOSE
Our film War of the Flea fight for Xicano Studies is about a group of rascuache college kids from a tiny town in the Midwest fighting for racial equality. The backdrop is Michigan State University, a major Big 10 College in the 1990's and the first land grant university in the U.S. Michigan is largely a blue collar state dedicated to labor and workers. At the time Xicana/o/x (pronounced Chicano) students were roughly 2% of the MSU undergraduate population before diversity was a 'thing' and yet managed to achieved what many adults could not: participation in the United Farm Worker Grape Boycott , a Xicano Studies Program, Scholarships, and a Cesar Chavez Library Collection.
Story of an nine-year student movement that created, through direct action and persistence, a Xicano studies program at Michigan State University in the 1990s. War of the Flea: The Fight for Xicano Studies is a real-life David v. Goliath story of Xicano students at Michigan State University. The film details their involvement with Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlan (MEXA), agitation, and grassroots community organizing. It examines how they forced a major university to establish a Xicano/Latino Studies program despite their small numbers and how an increasingly marginalized community was barraged by attack after attack. This documentary chronicles the main events that changed the trajectory of their lives: