America’s Disturbing Past with School Segregation: 22 Days of Anti-Racist Resources for Teachers
She is sharing some background on school segregation and a great book recommendation for you to use with your students to help them understand how the Mendez family fought for desegregation.
The Mendez family and many other families were negatively impacted by the racist ideas/racist policies that existed in Orange County, California.
Schools were segregated in Westminster, California when Mexican-Puerto Rican Sylvia Mendez and her family came to town from Santa Ana in the 1940s. When Mendez and her brothers were denied access to an all-white elementary school, her parents filed a lawsuit in federal court in Los Angeles against the school district, Mendez V. Westminster School District.
Separate is never equal and the Mendez family proved this by fighting for their constitutional rights.
The tragedy in El Paso was carried out by a homegrown white supremacist terrorist. This young man was full of hate and anger. His actions have destroyed countless lives.
As educators, we must teach that all people are created equal. We must teach people to love others and how to love them well.
The book Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation is an excellent text to use with your students to help them understand what America’s history with school segregation looks like.
The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico has created a free download for teachers and it’s excellent. This unit incorporates GLAD strategies and more to help students understand the context and implications of school segregation. Get the resource here.
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This post is dedicated to María Eugenia Legarreta Rothe. She traveled from Chihuahua to El Paso, Texas, only to pick up her teenage daughter, Natalia, at the airport because she was returning from a trip. She never had the opportunity to be reunited with her daughter.