Latino Civil Rights in Schools
One area in American society in which racial groups were separated was in school. Segregation of races and schools were common through the late 1940’s, until a Puerto-Rican Mexican family took action. Through this area the common race that known during this time where you were both classified as white or black and therefore left Hispanics unclassified. Depending where you lived according to McCormick, J. and Ayala, C. (2007) describes Felicita Mendez a Puerto Rican woman’s experience, “she belonged to a group that was racialized in Arizona as black, in California as Mexican, and now in court, her children figured as white.” In this situation her children not allowed to enter a white school called Westminster Elementary. Felicita did not want to enroll her children into a Mexican school because they lack resources and only did vocational training as she wanted a better future for her children, because she knew that education will give her children opportunities. She and her husband decided to take action so they followed lawsuit, along with four other Mexican families against Westminster County. During their struggle the law was against them saying that their reasons for segregation of Mexicans school were due to language. “The ruling was sustained at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on April 14, 1947, in a unanimous 7–0 decision.” (McCormick, J. and Ayala, C., 2007). This was a tremendous decision that had great impact towards creating integration for Mexicans as well as Indians, and Asians in schools. Shortly after the victory, the legislation passed the Assembly Bill of 1375 in California which eliminates segregation of these races. The bill was signed into law on June 14, 1947. Other states such as Arizona then followed, and it led to other cases which completely terminated legal segregation in schools in the United States in 1954. It took some effort and some years to finally integrate whites with other...
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