Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Las Tejanas: 300 Years of History

Synopsis

Since the early 1700s, women of Spanish/Mexican origin or descent have played a central, if often unacknowledged, role in Texas history. Tejanas have been community builders, political and religious leaders, founders of organizations, committed trade unionists, innovative educators, astute businesswomen, experienced professionals, and highly original artists. Giving their achievements the recognition they have long deserved, this groundbreaking book is at once a general history and a celebration of Tejanas' contributions to Texas over three centuries. The authors have gathered and distilled a wide range of information to create this important resource. They offer one of the first detailed accounts of Tejanas' lives in the colonial period and from the Republic of Texas up to 1900. Drawing on the fuller documentation that exists for the twentieth century, they also examine many aspects of the modern Tejana experience, including Tejanas' contributions to education, business and the professions, faith and community, politics, and the arts. A large selection of photographs, a historical timeline, and profiles of fifty notable Tejanas complete the volume and assure its usefulness for a broad general audience, as well as for educators and historians.

Excerpt

When the famous Mexican American singer-star Selena Quintanilla Pérez died in 1995, she had achieved widespread national and international fame and several books were written about her. Yet no other Tejana has received such interest and attention. Despite the rich history of Selena and other Tejanas, both famous and ordinary, scholars have ignored the history of Mexican American women in Texas. Indeed, the Tejanos, people of mixed Spanish/Mexican/Indian/African descent, were largely unknown to non-Texans until Selena died. Even less is known about Tejanas.

This book, by authors Teresa Palomo Acosta and Ruthe Winegarten, is the first history of Mexican descent women in Texas. Several generations of Mexican American women historians, both professional and untrained, wrote histories before this book, but only now in the new millennium has a book-length survey been written. “Generations” here refers to a specific period or era in history in which social, economic, and political conditions created a cohort experience.

Perhaps one of the first Tejanas to write Tejano history was Adina Emilia De Zavala, the granddaughter of statesman Lorenzo de Zavala. in the late nineteenth century, it was clear to De Zavala that Texas historians were already ignoring and erasing the Spanish record. It is significant that she was a founding member of the Texas State Historical Association in 1897, though only in recent years has her historical work . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.