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No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed

The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

By Cynthia E. Orozco

Publication Year: 2009

Founded by Mexican American men in 1929, the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) has usually been judged according to Chicano nationalist standards of the late 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on extensive archival research, including the personal papers of Alonso S. Perales and Adela Sloss-Vento, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed presents the history of LULAC in a new light, restoring its early twentieth-century context. Cynthia Orozco also provides evidence that perceptions of LULAC as a petite bourgeoisie, assimilationist, conservative, anti-Mexican, anti-working class organization belie the realities of the group’s early activism. Supplemented by oral history, this sweeping study probes LULAC’s predecessors, such as the Order Sons of America, blending historiography and cultural studies. Against a backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, World War I, gender discrimination, and racial segregation, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed recasts LULAC at the forefront of civil rights movements in America.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

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pp. ix-xii

This book is about the origins of the most important U.S. civil rights organization for people of Mexican descent. Mexican American men founded the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 1929. I began this book in a Chicano history class with Professor V

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest Mex-can American civil rights organization in the United States and celebrated its eightieth anniversary in 2009.1 With several thousand members today, it is one of the largest Latino voluntary associations. Mexican American men founded LULAC on February 17, l929, in Corpus Christi, Texas, when the ...

PART ONE. SOCIETY AND IDEOLOGY

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pp. 15-16

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ONE. The Mexican Colony of South Texas

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pp. 17-39

This story begins in South Texas. In the 1910s and 1920s industrialization, urbanization, and the rise of agribusiness fostered the region’s integration into the state and nation, encouraging European American migrants and Mexican immigrants to move there. This affected racial arrangements, class composition and formation, and La Raza’s identity formation. Out of this ...

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TWO. Ideological Origins of the Movement

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pp. 40-62

This chapter focuses on the 1910s and 1920s as formative decades for Mexican American consciousness amid major ideological influences and social change in the United States, Texas, and Mexico. Signs of this shift were the multiple identities La Raza used to name itself. By 1921 the male Mexican American middle class began to more publicly acknowledge an “American” ...

PART TWO. POLITICS

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pp. 63-64

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THREE. Rise of a Movement

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pp. 65-91

Historian David Montejano asserts, “There would be no vigorous or unified opposition against segregation until after World War II, when Texas veterans would organize to challenge the dramatic condition of race supremacy.”1 Eleazar Paredes contends, “It was not until World War II that the Chicano ... emerged as his true self—a man of dignity, a man who knows ...

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FOUR. Founding Fathers

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pp. 92-119

The public, even among La Raza, knows little about the leaders of the Mexican American civil rights movement in Texas, especially those who led the effort that resulted in the founding of LULAC. Until recently, historians had little interest in them since they allegedly acquiesced to racial oppression or middle-class interests. Activists and scholars of the 1970s called these ...

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FIVE. The Harlingen Convention of 1927: No Mexicans Allowed

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pp. 120-150

In the midst of an emerging Mexican American civil rights movement, the next key event was a convention billed as a “pro-Raza” effort held in Harlingen in South Texas in 1927. The objective was to provide an organizational solution to the problems La Raza faced and unite all the disparate associations originally associated with the Order Sons of America. But instead of ...

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SIX. LULAC’s Founding

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pp. 151-180

The Order Sons of America, the Order Sons of Texas, and the Order Knights of America did not unite at Harlingen. After the convention “settled” the citizenship question, yet another organization was founded there—the League of Latin American Citizens (LLAC). Activists were frustrated with further duplication and consequently over the next two years tried to merge ...

PART THREE. THEORY AND METHODOLOGY

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pp. 181-182

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SEVEN. The Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

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pp. 183-195

Activism in the 1920s and the founding of LULAC signaled a Mexican American civil rights movement. J. T. Canales and Emma Tenayuca and her husband, Homer Brooks, though on opposite sides of the spectrum of capitalism and communism, thought so. In 1939 Tenayuca and Brooks wrote about what they called “the Significance of the Mexican Rights Movement.”1 ...

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EIGHT. No Women Allowed?

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pp. 196-220

When I began research on LULAC it never dawned on me that women might have been part of that movement. I was told that Ben Garza (or Alonso S. Perales) was the father of LULAC. I interviewed Manuel C. Gonz

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CONCLUSION

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pp. 221-230

The OSA and LULAC emerged in a society in flux and signaled the rise of the Mexican American civil rights movement in the 1920s. This movement resulted from the rise of the M

Appendices

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pp. 231-240

NOTES

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pp. 241-298

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

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pp. 299-308

INDEX

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pp. 309-316


E-ISBN-13: 9780292793439
E-ISBN-10: 029279343X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292721098
Print-ISBN-10: 0292721099

Page Count: 330
Illustrations: 25 b&w photos, 2 maps
Publication Year: 2009

Research Areas

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Subject Headings

  • Mexican Americans -- Civil rights -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
  • Mexican Americans -- Texas -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • Mexican American women -- Texas -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
  • Order of Sons of America -- History.
  • Civil rights movements -- Texas -- History -- 20th century.
  • Mexican Americans -- Civil rights -- History -- 20th century.
  • League of United Latin American Citizens -- History.
  • Civil rights movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
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