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Oral Histories - Houston History Project

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory

African American Studies

Arts

Business

Culture

Disaster Response and Recovery

Education

Energy Development

Environmental Issues

Galveston (Tex.) History

Houston (Tex.) History

Immigration

Law

Medicine

Mexican American Studies

Native American Studies

Philanthropy

Politics

Religion

LGBTQ People

Sports

University Of Houston

Women's History



Contact us about this collection

Oral Histories - Houston History Project, 1996- | University of Houston Libraries

By Reddy Guntaka, Tanmay Wagh, Madhuri Keshavarao, Tai Luong

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Collection Overview

Title: Oral Histories - Houston History Project, 1996-View associated digital content.

ID: 07/2006-005

Primary Creator: Houston History Project

Extent: 25.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Oral histories are arranged numerically. Identifers include the Houston History Archives (HHA) number, interviewee's name, and subject module. Interviews consist of typewritten transcripts and audio interviews, presently available for reading and listening in the Special Collections Department of M.D. Anderson Library.

All formats for an interview are shelved by number in appropriate storage boxes.  Transcripts (typed pages) are housed in record cartons, audiotapes and CDs are housed in specialty boxes.  Each format includes sequential numbers appropirate  boxes. Because boxes and formats are configured differently, Box 1 in one format does not hold the same set of interview numbers as Box 1 in another format. However, searching for a specific interview number across formats will  produce all available interivew materials for that interviewee.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2005

Subjects: African-American studies, Arts, Business, Culture, Disaster response and recovery, Emigration and immigration, Energy development, Environmental issues, Medicine, Mexican Americans - Study and teaching, Native American studies, Religion, Sports, Women’s history

Forms of Material: Audiocassettes, Compact discs, Interviews, Sound recordings, Transcripts

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

When UH’s Center for Public History and the University Libraries collaborated to create the Houston History Archives (UH-HHA), part of their mission included a repository for oral histories that tell stories of the growth and development of the Gulf Coast region from multiple points of view.  To that end, the Houston Oral History Project in the Center for Public History trains history graduate students to research and interview Houstonians with recollections of the city’s civil rights, women’s, cultural, political, or medical past.  In furtherance of the mission, the UH Oral History Project entered into a collaboration with the City of Houston that will bring to the UH repository interviews of one hundred of Houston’s leaders from all walks of life.  Another large collection headed for the repository is the Offshore Energy Oral History Project, a collaboration among several UH professors and other universities to document  the growth of the oil refining industry along the Gulf Coast before and after World War II.  Topics available include interviews with Katrina emergency responders in Houston, a series of interviews with African American (black) generals, interviews with members of Houston's Indo-Asian population, and interviews from the Afro-American Physicians project, as well as a number of other topics.

Related Materials:

Oral Histories from the Houston History Project digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory)

Biographical Note

Joseph Pratt, Ph.D., in the UH Center for Public History, established the Houston History Project to expand and improve the research done on Houston and to serve as a learning laboratory for public history students.  Professor Pratt recognized the appropriateness of a publication supported by both  a research component and a repository for archival collections and oral histories to accomplish these goals.  All three elements – Houston History magazine, the UH Oral History Program, and the Houston History Archives -- reinforce one another and add to our understanding of Houston’s history by recording, reporting, and preserving the narrative of Houston’s past.  Together, the Houston History Project’s three components contribute to the University of Houston’s mission and realize the university’s strategic initiatives.

Subject/Index Terms

African-American studies
Arts
Business
Culture
Disaster response and recovery
Emigration and immigration
Energy development
Environmental issues
Medicine
Mexican Americans - Study and teaching
Native American studies
Religion
Sports
Women’s history

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electric form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Photocopy decisions will be made by Special Collection staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyrights holders.

Related Materials: Oral Histories from the Houston History Project digital collection For more information please see http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/houhistory.

Preferred Citation: Oral Histories-Houston History Project. Courtesy of Special Collection, University of Houston Libraries.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: African American Studies],
[Series 2: Arts],
[Series 3: Business],
[Series 4: Culture],
[Series 5: Disaster Response and Recovery],
[Series 6: Education],
[Series 7: Energy Development],
[Series 8: Environmental Issues],
[Series 9: Galveston (Tex.) History],
[Series 10: Houston (Tex.) History],
[Series 11: Immigration],
[Series 12: Law],
[Series 13: Medicine],
[Series 14: Mexican American Studies],
[Series 15: Native American Studies],
[Series 16: Philanthropy],
[Series 17: Politics],
[Series 18: Religion],
[Series 19: LGBTQ People],
[Series 20: Sports],
[Series 21: University Of Houston],
[Series 22: Women's History],
[All]

Series 14: Mexican American Studies
Box 9
Item 552: 00552_Galvan, Daniel_Mexican Immigration [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Juan Manuel Galván

Project: University of Houston

Daniel Galván was born in 1937 in rural central Mexico, losing his mother at the age of five. He grew up in a distant village of the Mountain Range of Guanajuato, where he did not complete even one year of elementary education In 1952, at the age of 15 he was too young to enroll in the Bracero Program, so he crossed over as an undocumented farm worker. He joined the Bracero program later in the decade and spent the winters in Mexico, where two of his younger children died of preventable illness due to poverty and isolation into which he and his family lived. He continued to work in United States illegally, experiencing persecution and abuse, but also taking pride in his efforts to support his family. Finally, Daniel was granted legal residence and later United States citizenship, which enabled him to bring his family to Houston in the mid 1990s.

Box 11
Item 674: 00674_Azios, A.D._Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Judge Azios is a native of Laredo, Texas. This interview traces his life from Laredo, to the University of Texas, and to his unusual military experience who was sent to language school by the army and was later a Pow after the Battle of Bulge. He eventually escaped but futher related crossing paths with others men from Laredo while a prisoner.
Item 675: 00675_Birdwell, Yolanda_Civil Rights Movement [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
This interview traces the life of Judge A. D. Azios which includes his efforts at getting through college and eventually a law degree.  He practiced law in Houston during a time when there were few Mexican American attorneys in Harris County.  It also covers his experiences during World War II just after D-Day, his capture by German soldiers and his escape towards U.S. Army lines.
Item 676: 00676_Black, Yolanda Navarro_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Since the 1960’s Yolanda Navarro Black has been a long time social and political activist in the Mexican American community while maintaining a family restaurant business, Los Arcos.  She has also continued a drive to provide shoes for school children. As a result she has served on several governmental boards as well as non-profit corporations that serve the community.
Item 677: 00677_Calbillo, Carlos_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Carlos Calbillo was part of the radical movement during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s.  His represents the mobility of the era that sent him from Pasadena, Texas to California to work with Cesar Chavez in the United Farm Worker strikes and to participate in the Chicano Manifesto pronouncement in Denver.

His insights into the radical perspective and its accommodation with the moderate Chicano leaders is historically significant.

Item 678: 00678_Flores, D.V. "Sonny" Flores_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Item 679: 00679_Fraga, Felix_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Felix Fraga was born in the Second Ward of Houston. This interview reveals his life in the barrio and the daily living patterns he experienced growing up there. He is one of Houston's most respected and well-liked leaders who sheds light on the stratification in Houston nieghbourhoods. Of particular note is the social relationship between Angols and Mexica Americans. Mr. Fraga was appointed to the Houston Independent School District Board and then served as a member of the Houston City Council.
Item 680: 00680_Guerra, Jose_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Mr. Jose Guerra is a local business man, a graduate of Texas A&M University. He is active in the Hispanic American Genealogy Society and as a result was able to trace his Mexican American roots into the early 18th century and establishing familial relationships with some of the earliest Tejano citizens including those who fought for Texas independence from Mexico.
Item 681: 00681_Orta, Carmen_Mexican-American History [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.
Box 13
Item 756: 00756_Arellano, Dario_PoliticsView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Dario Arellano was born in Pasadena, TX and raised in Houston.  He is a veteran of the Korean War, a former constable for precinct six, and served as an assistant clerk to Justice of the Peace Armando Rodriguez.  In addition to his professional career, Mr. Arellano speaks about his political organizing.  In particular he talks about his involvement in the campaigns of several Mexican American politicians.  He mentions many of the “firsts” in the Mexican American community to be elected to office.  The role that P.A.S.S.O played in political campaigns is also discussed.  Lastly, Mr. Arellano highlights his work with the Denver Harbor Clinic and the help it provides to young mothers and their children.

Item 757: 00757_Caram, Dorothy_Mex Am History  & Salon JuarezView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Leigh Cutler & Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Dr. Dorothy Caram is an educator and community activist in the Mexican American community of Houston.  In this interview she talks about her personal history, how her family arrived in Houston, her educational history, and her professional and community endeavors.  Dr. Caram covers a wide range of topics including cultural activities and community services in the Mexican American neighborhoods of Houston.  She also gives her personal perspective on issues of bilingual education, Mexican American politics, immigration, use of the word Hispanic, and the importance of knowing one’s history.

Mrs. Caram was born in Magnolia Park a Mexican American barrio in Houston, Texas.  Her paternal grandfather was from Harrisburg [now part of Houston], Texas while other ancestors came to Houston in the early part of the 1900’s.  This interview is primarily focused on the role of  El Salon Juarez, which served as a community center for the Mexican American people for many years as well as the efforts that  have been made to try to salvage the old building.

Item 758: 00758_Mata, Johnny_L.U.L.A.CView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Johnny Mata is a Mexican American activist who has been involved with LULAC and the GI Forum for a number of years.  He talks about prominent issues that LULAC has been involved in, such as redistricting, Mexican American representation on grand juries, and permitting communication in Spanish in family court.  He also discusses his work with the Harris County Community Action Association under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration, particularly his work promoting equal employment opportunities.  Throughout the interview Mr. Mata expresses various philosophies on themes such as development of Mexican American leadership, fighting injustice, and education.

Item 759: 00759_Navarro, Porfirio_Military, The ArtsView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Ernesto Valdes

Project: University of Houston

Porfirio Navarro was born in Houston, Texas on September 15th, 1920. He describes how his mother, born in the Valley but raised in San Antonio, met his father, a former captain in the Mexican Cavalry, and moved around the state due to a job on the railroad. He proceeds to recount growing up in various parts of Houston, giving descriptions of the city before it became the sprawling metropolis it is today. Navarro began his schooling in Alief before moving to Magnolia Park and later to the Second Ward, where he attended Jeff Davis High School. He dropped out (though eventually completed a GED) and began working in the photo engraving and commercial art sector, which eventually led him to join the Marines as a cartographer in the Pacific theatre during World War II. Upon his return, Navarro travelled around the country doing commercial art work before starting his own printing shop in Houston.

Item 760: 00760_Parras, Juan_Environmental JusticeView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Juan Parras was born in Big Spring, TX, where he grew up until he left for high school to St. Anthony’s Seminary in San Antonio, TX with support from his local parish.  After high school he spent a year studying at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, received his associates from Harvard County Junior College, and studied at the University of Houston.  The focus of this interview is on Parras’ professional life first working for the welfare department of Harris County Social Services, then as a union organizer for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  He began his environmental work with an organization fighting against unsafe environmental standards of a company called Shintech in Convent, LA.  Parras was then hired by Green Peace, followed by a position at the Texas Southern University Law School doing environmental justice outreach, and finally as founder and director of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service (T.E.J.A.S.).  During his time at TSU, Parras worked to move the proposed location for Cesar Chavez High School because of its location near many refineries.  With T.E.J.A.S., he continues to raise awareness and push for environmental justice in communities that do not have the resources or political clout to fight environmental causes.

Item 761: 00761_Partida, Frank_Magnolia Park, PoliticsView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Frank Partida was born and raised in Magnolia Park in Houston and is a staple in the Mexican American community.  His story is important for the knowledge he has of Magnolia Park history and his activism in various community and political organizations serving the Mexican Americans in Houston.  He begins the interview by talking about the preparation for the Magnolia Park centennial anniversary.  He then explains what it was like growing up in Magnolia Park with gangs and the activities that children participated in to pass the time.  Partida talks about his employment history, principally working as a salesman for different breweries and later as a carpenter.  About half of the interview is about Mexican American community organizations, activism, and politics.  Partida’s grandfather, Elias Ramirez was involved in starting LULAC in Houston and Sociedad Mutualista Benito Juarez.  From his grandfather, Partida learned about getting involved and he talks about his work in political campaigns to promote Mexican American democratic candidates, the importance of the Viva Kennedy campaign, and working on the Poverty Campaign introduced by Lyndon B. Johnson.

Item 762: 00762_Ramos, Mary_L.U.L.A.CView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Mary Louise Ramos (neé Palacios) was born in Houston, TX in 1950. She recounts her early days in Houston’s 5th Ward, including attending Marshall Middle School, which at the time was notorious for its high gang presence. She proceeds to describe how she got into real estate and eventually how she got involved with LULAC.

Ramos feels that everyone has a right to be treated equally and expresses her desire to see Latinos in positions of power throughout the government. She provides an insider’s perspective of LULAC, its goals, structure, and membership. Stories of her involvement with a variety of landmark cases for minority rights through LULAC provide a colorful timeline of the progress the organization has made throughout the past thirty years.

Item 763: 00763_Reyes, Richard_ArtsView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Richard Reyes was born in 1951 in Oakton, Texas. In this interview, he describes how he came to be involved with his community theatre which eventually led to the creation of his most famous character, Pancho Claus. He discusses his passion for working with inner city kids and how that passion eventually cost him his job at Talento Bilingüe. Despite this setback, Reyes continues to be extremely active in the community with Pancho Claus and a variety of other charitable causes.

Item 764: 00764_Reyna, Christine_Magnolia ParkView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Ernesto Valdes

Project: University of Houston

Christine Reyna grew up in the Magnolia Park neighborhood of Houston. She is the second generation owner of Reyna’s Florist and Gift Shop and begins the interview talking about the importance of flower arrangements in some Mexican and Mexican American culture practices. The majority of the interview is a reflection of life in 1950s and 1960s Houston. Reyna discusses swimming in the summer, going to sock hops, shopping downtown, curanderas, and going to theatres like Azteca. At one point in the interview, Reyna reads from a document which gives the history of Magnolia Park, how it was established, changes in the ethnic population over time, and business that existed. Other topics discusses include the failed Mercado on Navigation, Plans for the centennial celebration of Magnolia Park, and changes in the east end neighborhoods with new condos and the metro being introduced.

Item 765: 00765_Rodriguez, Armando_Politics, Fiestas PatriasView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Judge Armando Rodriguez was born and raised in Houston.  He became the first Mexican American Justice of the Peace elected in Houston in 1973.  In this interview he talks about the Mexican American community, cultural traits, and values.  A large portion of the interview is spent discussing Mexican American politics in Houston, with Judge Rodriguez naming important people that were involved, organizations established, and some anecdotal events.  Judge Rodriguez also talked about the development of the modern Fiestas Patrias parade and celebration in 1969.  A major theme that emerges from the interview is uplifting the Mexican American community and insistence on being treated as equals.

Item 766: 00766_Torres, Juan_Magnolia ParkView associated digital content.

Interviewer(s): Natalie Garza

Project: University of Houston

Juan Torres was born and raised in Magnolia Park.  During the interview he talks about what life was like growing up in Magnolia Park in the 1950s and 60s, hanging out in the neighborhood, going to the Pan American or American Legion for dances, and working at different local businesses.  Torres’ dad owned a couple of businesses himself, including La Poblana Tortilleria, and a night club called La Terraza.  Following high school, Torres served in the Air Force, and when he returned to Houston he went to work with his dad in the tortilleria.  Torres later started his own business called Torres Distributing.  He also mentions some of the Mexican American oriented organizations that he is currently involved in.

Box 14
Item 801: 00801_Fraga, Angel_Second Ward[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Emily Chambers

Project: University Of Houston

The Felix Fraga Sr. came to Houston over a century ago. His six sons, known as the “Fraga Six,” have gone from poor, humble beginnings to serve their nation and their city in the military, in elected office, on the bench, and in business. Although Angel Z. Fraga served as a municipal court judge and county criminal court judge, this interview focuses on the Fraga family. It details their experiences growing in up in Houston, the schools they attended, discrimination they faced, various jobs they held, the brothers’ military service in the Army Navy and Air Force. They also were victims of the TB epidemic that struck Houston in the 1930s. Although, the Fragas lost one family member and others underwent treatment, they did not suffer nearly as some of their neighbors who lost multiple family members. He also discusses life in the Second Ward, businesses there, and neighbors and friends like Ninfa Laurenzo. Angel Fraga passed away in 2014, about a year after this interview was completed.

Item 802: 00802_Fraga, Felix_Second Ward[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Emily Chambers

Project: University Of Houston

This interview with Felix Fraga starts with the story of Felix Fraga Sr. coming from Mexico to the United States through Eagle Pass, Texas, to start a new life in the Second Ward of Houston. From there come the amazing stories of each of the six Fraga sons, the “Fraga Six,” who worked hard to use the opportunities their parents had given them to reach move up in the social strata. At one point Felix explains that people thought the Fraga boys were great because they never got into trouble. Felix explained that he and his brother never joined local gangs but, instead, succeeded. Through the support of the community centers like the Rusk Settlement House and activities like sports, these six boys were able to leave their neighborhood, to learn and grow, and to bring their new ideas to their community.

Item 808: 00808_Jimenez, Maria[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Samantha Rodriguez

Project: University Of Houston

Maria Jimenez came to Houston from Mexico with her family in 1957.She recalls growing up in the Houston school system where she was not allowed to speak Spanish and faced repeated instances of discrimination by her classmates. Rather than bow down, she became actively involved in speech and debate at Milby High School where she won awards for debate and her oratory on the discrimination faced by Mexican Americans. She expanded her fight for social justice in the late 1960s and early 1970s while a student at the University of Houston. Actively involved with the Young Democrats and then the Mexican America Youth Organization (MAYO), she was an advocate for farmworkers, feminism, gender quality, abortion/reproductive rights, and establishment of the Center for Mexican American Studies. She worked with other activist groups on campus such as the Afro-Americans for Blac Liberation (AABL) to achieve common goals.

Item 828: 00828_Sarabia,Emilio_Medicine[available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer: Leigh Cutler

Project: University Of Houston

The family of Dr. Emilio Sarabia, a retired physician at the time of the interview, was one of the earliest to arrive in Houston. His father was one who opened the first theater for Spanish language movies, the Azteca Theatre presently located across from Minute Maid Park. The other family members opened a variety of businesses that settled in the area on the northern side of Downtown Houston that was then known as “Little Mexico.” Sarabia focuses on the concern surrounding the maintenance of culture and language within the Mexican immigrant community and how Salon Juarez provided a community center where children could learn and freely speak Spanish, where dances and meetings could be held. Emilio describes the different Hispanic communities located around Houston and his experiences growing up as a Mexican in a mixed Anglo community. Preservation efforts surrounding Salon Juarez have faced difficulties and Emilio provides insight on his work with Tejano preservation associations and gives his opinion on what should become of Salon Juarez if it obtains a historical landmark status.

Box 15
Item 00848: 00848_Cano, Luis [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer : Ernesto Valdes

Project : University of Houston

Dr. Luis R. Cano reflects on his career as a teacher and an activist in Houston.  Dr. Cano started a school funded by grants. With only $35,000 he employed two others, and taught drop outs from HISD. Because of sharp criticism aimed at HISD, the district moved to adopt the school, but Dr. Cano refused the offer. Simultaneously, he was a part of the Chicano Communications Council. While working for the council he increased the opportunities of Mexican-Americans, especially in the area of broadcast journalism. He recounts his childhood and what got him interested in race and culture. Dr. Cano tells the story of his grandfather, and how he stood up for the rights of his daughter to be educated in a normal school, and his fight with the Ku Klux Klan. He ends discussing Hispanic culture, music and history with Ernesto Valdes.

Item 00835: 00835_Garcia, Roland [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

interviewer : Natalie Garza

Project : University of Houston

Since graduating from South Texas College of Law, Roland Garcia has practiced law and discusses the evolution of his career from his first job at Vinson & Elkins to the formation of Greenburg Traurig. In his work at the Supreme Court of Texas, Roland was assigned to the first Hispanic elected to a state-wise Texas office, Raul Gonzales, as a briefing attorney, and describes his work under Gonzales. He discusses the number of positions he has held, such as board member of the Association for Advancement of Mexican Americans and chairman of board of the Aspiring Youth of Houston. Valdez and Garcia discuss globalization’s effect on Hispanic Americans wishing to pursue careers in law and any barriers Hispanics have faced in the field and hopes to serve as an inspiration for future generations. Among the cases mentioned, Garcia details Texas Medical Center versus St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, the legal nature of non-profit organizations and the history of the Texas Medical Center.

Item 00832: 00832_Guillen, Petra [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer : Natalie Garza

Project : University of Houston

Having lived on N St. Charles for sixty two years, Petra Guillen has seen her neighborhood  change through her association with Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. She discusses why and how her family migrated from Mexico to Texas and the story of how she obtained citizenship. Petra discusses the limitations for Mexican communities seeking a Catholic Church, either not allowed in the churches or forced to sit in the back during service. Petra recalls the Mexican communities and the founding of Catholic churches in their communities. As a young woman, Petra taught catechism to children and lived in a convent where she learned to play piano from a nun, and discusses the daily duties of the convent.  She discusses language Our Lady of Guadalupe, from separate services performed in different languages, to the small presence of Vietnamese churchgoers. A mother of thirteen, Petra’s attitudes about religion are unveiled through stories about her children. In addition, she repeats her devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, making a promise with her husband to never move away and buying a house that was nearby the church. Petra discusses the history of the church and its current status, some of the organizations and events, and a trip the church members take to San Juan .

Item 00845: 00845_Jimenez, Maria [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer : Natalie Garza

Project : University of Houston

Maria Jimenez details her family’s history of crossing the Mexican and United States border both legally and illegally for job opportunities, and then her own migration in 1958. She begins with her life as a school-aged child in Houston, with memories of segregation from whites, Mexican discrimination, and oppression against all aspects of Mexican culture, especially language. Maria recalls interactions with white classmates and the way they treated her or made prejudiced comments, and the way her family cultivated her sense of justice, independence, and equality, and describes her traditional upbringing. At the University of Houston, Maria became involved with political organizations and the Chicano Movement, mostly the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO ) and advocated for equal treatment of Mexican Americans inside the University and in their respective communities. Within the structure of MAYO, Maria clashed with her peers and their opinions on feminism and Chicano identity.  These debates and her experience working with the Lettuce Boycotts shaped Maria’s outlook on stratification and injustice. After graduation, Maria traveled to Mexico and experienced for the first time how it felt to be part of a society’s dominant culture and prepared herself for work with multi-lingual, multi-cultural organizations once she returned to the United States. Maria used her political knowledge to help immigrants gain citizenship after in 1996, legislation passed that stripped thousands of immigrants of their temporary resident status. Maria organized ARCA, the Association for Residency and Citizenship of America and expanded it nationwide. She stresses the importance of inclusion across ethnic backgrounds and cultural sensitivity in order to maintain involvement. Maria explains ARCAs activism and how they passed legislation that resulted in community awareness about the electoral system. Maria discusses recent work with the Ezekiel Hernandez case and how she has shone light on Border Patrol abuses, and the formation of CARECEN, the Central American Resource Center and touches on her personal experiences and thoughts on illegal immigration.

Item 00831: 00831_Romo, Rolando [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

interviewer : Leigh Cutler

Project : University of Houston

Rolando Romo traces his personal history, upbringing and education and how these factors led to his interest in Houston history and historical organizations, and found his own, the Tejano Association for Historical Preservation, in 1989. Of all the buildings the Tejano Association fought for only the Salon Juarez, now known as Magnolia Hall, was successfully preserved. Rolando discusses the driving forces behind the birth of Salon Juarez and how it was used by the Mexican American community. Romo speaks about the Sociedad Mutualista organization and its role in the community as a support system and goes into detail about the Sociedad’s intervention in the Macario Garcia case. Romo mentions women and their roles within the organizations and in the home, and argues that they held more authority than expected. Finishing, Romo discusses a collection of historic photographs and the benefits and importance of historic preservation, using preservationist Randall Davis as an example.

Item 00847: 00847_Salinas, Carmen [available online - see Digital Library]View associated digital content.

Interviewer : Ernesto Valdes

Project : University of Houston

Carmen Salinas, a native of San Antonio, recounts her family history in the United States, Mexico, and Texas. She has both Spanish and Native American ancestry, both of which are well-documented. Salinas discusses her family history: occupations of her various relatives, their marriages and relationships with one another, where they are buried, both in Mexico and Texas. One of the major themes Salinas focuses on is the various kinds of discrimination faced by Mexican-Americans and Tejanos when she was growing up, as well as into the present. Salinas and Valdes also discuss her research process, the difficulties she has accessing various documents due to racism or reluctance on the part of potential interviewees.


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: African American Studies],
[Series 2: Arts],
[Series 3: Business],
[Series 4: Culture],
[Series 5: Disaster Response and Recovery],
[Series 6: Education],
[Series 7: Energy Development],
[Series 8: Environmental Issues],
[Series 9: Galveston (Tex.) History],
[Series 10: Houston (Tex.) History],
[Series 11: Immigration],
[Series 12: Law],
[Series 13: Medicine],
[Series 14: Mexican American Studies],
[Series 15: Native American Studies],
[Series 16: Philanthropy],
[Series 17: Politics],
[Series 18: Religion],
[Series 19: LGBTQ People],
[Series 20: Sports],
[Series 21: University Of Houston],
[Series 22: Women's History],
[All]

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