Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History

Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History

Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History

Mexican Americans in Texas: A Brief History

Synopsis

Like its ground-breaking predecessor, the first general survey of Tejanos, this completely up-to-date revision is a concise political, cultural, and social history of Mexican Americans in Texas from the Spanish colonial era to the present. Professor De Len is careful to portray Tejanos as active subjects, not merely objects in the ongoing Texas story. Complemented by a stunning photographic essay, a helpful glossary, and meticulously annotated, this work continues to be ideal reading for anyone wanting to learn about the most influential ethnic group in Texas.

Excerpt

Serious scholarly study of Mexican Americans in Texas goes back only to the early 1970s. It is true that historians before that decade wrote on the Spanish colonial era (circa 1519 to 1821) and even touched on some aspects of Texas-Mexican life during Mexico's rule of the province (1821–1836). But their interests stopped there, for they assumed that Tejano society collapsed when Anglo Texans established an American rule following the 1836 war for Texas independence against Mexico. To be sure, a smattering of theses, dissertations, and academic articles on Mexican Americans did appear before 1970, but by and large historians mistakenly believed that Tejanos lacked a distinct history worthy of scholarly attention.

In the late 1960s, however, there appeared in Mexican-American communities throughout the country what is termed the “Chicano Movement,” an ethnic-charged explosion of cultural pride that called for fundamental changes in society. Among other things, activists in colleges and high schools throughout different parts of the United States–supported by faculty members, community leaders, parents, journalists, bureaucrats, and others—demanded the dismissal of racist educators, the alteration of a curriculum they viewed as ethnocentric, the recruitment of more Mexican-American teachers and administrators, and the development of classes in Mexican-American history. Elements . . .

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