Some believe chicano was originally a pejorative term, while others believe it was an abreviation of the term Mexicano (XI pronounced CH). In any case, the term was adopted by Chicano social rights activists in the 1960s as a political, positive term. Some of these activists included Corky Gonzales who wrote Yo soy Joaquín; Alurista, a chicano poet; and César Chávez of the "no uvas" and United Fruit Workers.
The etymology of the word Chicano is uncertain, some link it to Mexicano (i.e. Mexican) - Chicano is sometimes written as "Xicano", and in Old Spanish, the letter X was pronounced as modern English <sh> /S/. Others claim to find its true etymology in the Spanish word "chicana," meaning "harassment."
Many Chicanos refer to themselves as "La raza" (literally, 'the race'). Some use the phrase "la raza de bronce", some see themselves as "brown" or "bronze" because of their Indian ancestry (as opposed to white and black people). Most refer to themselves as "la raza cosmica" which means the universal race. Bruce Novoa[?], a famous Chicano author, once wrote that Chicanos exist in the space created by the hyphen in Mexican-American.
See also: List of notable Chicanos[?]