Texas Mexican Americans And Post War Civil Rights
Rivas Rodriguez is known for a wide range of literature. She has written a lot of books that serve as sources that relate to Texans and provides a reliable stream of information to her readers. The Texas Mexican Americans and Post War Civil Rights is a book that was first published in 2015 and its purpose was to highlight the lives of Texas Mexican Americans and the life they led after the world war. Rivas writes the book to enlighten people on how Texas Mexican Americans faced a lot of racism in America after the world wars. This task is aimed at elaborating on the way the book highlights the different challenges that Texas Mexicans Americans after the wars.
Texas Mexican Americans are among the minority groups in Texas. After the civil war, the group engaged in fighting for several things that would improve their life. Mexican Americans created movements to fight for freedom from the domination of the whites and other American races. Additionally, Texas Mexicans needed access to quality education and job opportunities in the growing Texas City. Equality in service delivery in Texas was a major problem and thus the Texas Mexican Americans formed movements to fight for equal opportunities in education, jobs, and land ownership opportunities.
The Texas Mexican Americans and Post War Civil Rights is a book that was written based on the United States Commission on civil rights resolutions in 1968. After the war, some Mexicans decided to stay back in the US. The United States government created commissions boarders the problems that the Mexicans would face in the United States. The Mexicans were promised citizenship and theta they were to enjoy equal rights as any other Americans living in the United States. The commission ensured that the Mexicans received education to match other groups in Texas and avoid the alienation and powerlessness they were facing. Nevertheless, Mexicans faced inequality and racism in Texas society daily. However, the Mexicans were aggressive and had ways to keep pushing forward to achieve their objective in fighting against discrimination.
The book is written in two parts. The first part deals with the challenges that Mexicans faced within the Texan community and the interactions with the local people within Texas. On the other hand, the second part deals with the establishment of a movement that helps in fighting for the grievances aired by the Mexicans. The movement was formed to fight for equal education, health services, employment opportunities, and land ownership rights in Texas. Nevertheless, it was not easy to win the battle due to the discrimination the Mexicans faced in the United States as a minority group. The first chapter addresses the treatments that Mexicans experienced in public schools in Texas.
The author focusses on the alpine public schools in Texas. The Alpine public schools were segregated until 1969 when Mexican Americans were elected as legislators. “Later the united states government declared that separate schools were unconstitutional and closed the schools under the scores that Mexican Americans were facing racism at a high degree in those schools.”(67) Consequently, Mexican American leaders urged their fellow Mexicans to join the neighborhood schools and not the disintegrated ones citing that they were white and deserved equal rights as the dominant whites, unlike the African Americans. The Mexican leaders fought for equality and made interviews supporting the fact that they were equally white as the Native Americans and the only difference was language and they could also speak English. As a result, they felt that they deserved to attend the schools that were meant for whites only and not the public ones that African Americans attended.
Consequently, chapter two of part one talks about the creation of ranks that involved Mexican communities. “The election of Mexican mayor was a turning point in the improvement of the hiring opportunities for the Mexicans” (289). However, the second part of this book talks about the establishment of the post-war civil rights movement. The movement was formed to fight for equality in Texas. Texas population consists of different racial groups that later were assimilated into American society. They consist of Mexican Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans, and native whites. “The movement was established to fight for the civil rights of all the groups. They aimed at equal distribution of resources and services and the access to equal education and employment opportunities.”(312)
Rivas Rodriquez was a professor in the school of journalism at the University of Texas. She has a wide range of experience in oral history and journalism. She was a reporter for 17 years in the Boston globe. Rivas also served as the Morning New Mexico border bureau chief in El Paso. She conducted passion researches on the relationships of oral history and journalism in US, Latino, Mexicans as the producers and consumers of news media. She later created the Voces Oral History Project which conducted interviews on different people. She incorporated the stories into documentaries, television shows and wrote others in books as literature sources for future generations. The project became resourceful for scholars, film producers, and journalists and it’s funded by the government and donations from well-wishers.
The author mainly brings out the issue of discrimination of minority groups in Texas society. In her work, she explains how schools were separated according to race and how Mexicans experienced discrimination from both the whites and African Americans. The author further points out that the involvement of Mexicans in legislation and other authoritative posts helped ease the problem. Nevertheless, the author argues that the Mexicans aggressive nature and their ability to positively take racism discrimination helped them persevere.
The author convincingly brings out the best strategies to curb discrimination and racial segregation in Texas. She states that involvement is a good way of dealing with the problem. The involvement of Mexicans in legislative positions in the public and private schools gave them a sense of belonging. Additionally, it made other groups cooperative in the running of the schools and Texas society, therefore, enhancing a peaceful coexistence. The author adequately addresses the theme of highlighting the challenges that the Texas Mexicans faced after the war. The book is interesting and insightful for the readers and intelligently captures all the reader’s attention. Readers can gain a lot of knowledge from the book on the history of today.