School Desegregation Landmark Case

The following is from Mimi Lozano, editor of “Somos Primos”, a free, online publication dedicated to past and present articles, events and information concerning Hispanic heritage issues. The 1946 case of Mendez versus Westminster is highly relevant to Evangelina Takes Flight, because her new hometown of Seneca, Texas also proposes segregation of all “foreigners and negroes” from the only school in the area.

Dear familia, primos y amigos. . . . .

2017 is the 70-year anniversary of the Orange County, California Mendez v. Westminster school desegregation landmark case. This WWII case involved five Latino families fighting against 4 school districts on behalf of 5,000 children who were being denied access to equal education and opportunity by being segregated to inferior schools and demeaned social status.  Mendez helped pave the way to the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education seven years later but most American, even among Mexican Americans and other Latinos have no idea that segregation took place all across America, targeting Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, as well as African-Americans.

8+ minute PBS video on the case: https://kcts9.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/osi04.soc.ush.civil.mendez/mendez-v-westminster-desegregating-californias-schools/#.WX_nYWdK2o4

The August Somos Primos Newsletter can be found here: http://somosprimos.com/sp2017/spaug17/spaug17.htm

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