The Struggle in Black and Brown: African American and Mexican American Relations during the Civil Rights Era

By Brian D. Behnken | Go to book overview

ONE
Not Similar Enough
Mexican American and African American Civil Rights
Struggles in the 1940s

LISA Y. RAMOS

On July 6, 1948, University of Texas professor George I. Sanchez penned a letter to Thurgood Marshall, special counsel for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).1 At the time, Sánchez was a scrappy and stubborn forty-one-year-old scholar-activist who had worked on improving the social and economic conditions of Mexican Americans since his days of teaching in the rural mountains of his native New Mexico.2 Marshall was a forty-year-old distinguished and courageous attorney from Baltimore, Maryland, in charge of the NAACP’S Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc. (LDF).3 In his letter to Marshall, Sánchez expressed unqualified support for the NAACP’S campaign to end segregation. He wrote: “I would be very happy to give you whatever cooperation I can.”4 Sanchez was referring to Marshall’s request for the affidavits of various academics and researchers in the Delgado et al. v. Bastrop et al. Independent School District (1948) school desegregation case, in which ten Mexican-descent parents and grandparents sued four central Texas school districts, a county superintendent, the state superintendent of public education, and the state board of education on behalf of their twenty Mexican American

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