Nov 23, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Latino civil rights group chronicles historical battles

Part of the timeline focused on Desegregation in Texas
Credit: LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) published an extensive timeline this month of the legal battles, union formations and political strategies used to advance the civil rights of U.S. Latinos.

Why it matters: The organization’s timeline comes amid a broader discussion of the marginalization Latinos still face across the United States, including health care inequities and structural racism.

  • "It is vital to share the exhibit with all Americans who care to learn ... about the social struggle for Latino civil rights," said David Contreras, a LULAC historian.

Details: The interactive timeline is a compilation of historical records, art and photos that document Latinos' nearly century-long "battle for civil rights," the organization said in a news release.

  • It outlines LULAC's fight to repeal legislation that discriminated against Latinos, called "Juan Crow laws," which restricted access to public spaces, such as swimming pools, restrooms and water drinking fountains.
  • It also documented a slew of successful lawsuits to integrate Texas school systems that segregated Mexican children until 1945 because they were “more poorly clothed and mentally inferior to white children.”

What they're saying: "The fact is that non-Latinos and the younger generation … are unaware about what it took our grandparents and parents to knock down barriers," LULAC President Domingo Garcia said in a statement.

  • "Many people are uninformed or base their facts on disinformation about the true contributions of Latinos in our country," he added.
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