Latinos & the Civil Rights Movement

by Susan Thompson, SMHS English Teacher, & Sherri Bryan, SMHS Teacher Librarian

Instructions: 

Part One: In your composition notebook, create a page entitled “Hispanics-The Forgotten Class in Civil Rights History.” Glue the SOAPSTone form onto the page. We will read this article and complete this form in class together.

Part Two: Collaborate with your group to learn important information about a historical event in Latinos’ quest for civil rights.

  1. Read, view, and listen to the sources listed below for your group.
  2. Take notes: As you visit each source about your assigned topic, be sure to record new knowledge, aha’s, and questions you have in your composition notebook. Organize this as Cornell Notes for each source.
  3. Create a google presentation that has at least 5 slides that teaches your topic to the rest of the class. The first slide should be the title of your presentation. (Each person in your group must create at least one slide.) If you have the Timeline Group, you will not create a Google presentation. You will create a large poster to be posted in the classroom.
  4. Plan and write what your group will say during your presentation. Each person must speak during the presentation.
  5. Present your lesson.

Multimedia “Text”

Response: Take notes in your Composition Notebook

Issue Overview: All students read and respond

“Hispanics - The Forgotten Class in Civil Rights History”, from the LBJ Presidential Library

All students complete SOAPSTone in their composition notebooks for this portion of the assignment.

Group 1: Data/Statistics: Facts on U.S. Latinos, 2015

What conclusions can you draw from this data?

Group 2: Hernandez v. Texas

Read this overview of the 1954 Supreme Court Case.

Another article about this landmark case.

An obituary of sorts of Gus C Garcia, one of the lawyers who argued the case before the Supreme Court.

A speech by Garcia

This video provides some background on the case.

This short video outlines the goals of this case. You will hear Gus Garcia’s voice here.

The 14th Amendment Ducksters

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 3: Mendez v Westminster School District of Orange County

Interview with an Orange County judge speaking about this case. 

NPR StoryCorps interview with Sylvia Mendez and Sandra Mendez Duran.

Sylvia Mendez discusses what she was learning at the “Mexican” school.

Connecting to today. Read or listen to this article from the Orange County Register in October 2017.

Museum of Tolerance exhibit (Mendez v. Westminster)

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 4: Pecan Shellers’ Strike of 1938

Read this article about the Pecan Shellers’ Strike of 1938. (Or this one?)

Images of living and working conditions.

San Antonio Express News article

Biography of Emma Tenayuca

Interview with Emma Tenayuca. She begins talking about the strike at the 6 minute mark. At 10:45 she talks about the working conditions of the pecan shellers.

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 5: Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta: United Farm Workers

Overview of the United Farm Workers of America (GVRL)

Read about Dolores Huerta here.

Listen to an interview with Dolores Huerta here.

Read about Cesar Chavez here.

Primary Source (Boycott Day Proclamation, by Delano Grape Workers)

Video on the Farmworker Movement (from PBS Latino Americans) - 16 minutes

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 6: Bracero Program

Article about Bracero Program

Read and listen here to stories from participants in the Bracero Program

Visit the National Museum of American History’s online exhibit about the Bracero Program (This link takes you to the Introduction page. Click on the menu on the right side of the page to visit other sections of this online exhibit.)

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 7: La Raza Unida

Article about La Raza Unida

Understanding the Raza Unida Party

Read about the founder of La Raza Unida here.

Watch this video about the Raza Unida party. (You may also want to listen to some other voices from La Raza Unida on this site.)

Read the poem I am Joaquin 

Watch Luis Valdez’s two-part video created for Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez’s poem.

Part 1

Part 2

What are the main details about this event?

Who was involved?

What strategies were used by the movement?

What was the outcome?

Group 8: Timeline

A Time for Justice video for review. Consult your notes for dates and events.

See all topics above to build a timeline. One side will be for African-Americans as described in A Time for Justice; the other side will document the civil rights movement for Latinos. Your timeline must include a brief description of each event and an illustration.

Include the extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the amendments to it in 1970 and 1975.

You’ll be creating a poster. Take notes on the Latino & Civil Rights events in your composition notebook, then work together to create your timeline. Large poster paper will be provided. You may draw and/or use images from sites online.