School desegregation and mexicanamerican rights landmark law cases. Please indicate it is a donation for the mendez monument in the memo section of the check. Board of education is a widely known landmark supreme court case, few can trace its origins to the case of nineyearold sylvia mendez in mendez v. By students of felicitas and gonzalo mendez high school foreword by sylvia mendez. Park news constitutional writes national park service. The mendez case was important in the history of the united. Donation checks may be made out to the city of westminster, and sent to 8200 westminster blvd, westminster, ca 92683. Mendez v westminster california civil rights story.
Sep 18, 2019 mexican american families in california secured an early legal victory in the push against school segregation. Historic in its own right, mendez was critical to the strategic choices and legal analysis used in arguing brown and in shaping the ideas of a young naacp attorney, thurgood marshall. In 1943, at age 30, he became a naturalized citizen of the united states and was a relatively welloff vegetable farmer. Case history the year was 1945, and the united states was a much different place back then. Board of education because it was resolved prior to reaching the u. Mendez, his mother, and her other four children moved to westminster, california, in 1919. Supreme court, mendez preceded brown by seven years and in some respects paved the way for its more famous successor. It is unfortunate that the case is not remembered better. Sylvia mendez born june 7, 1936 is an american civil rights activist of mexicanpuerto rican heritage. His book discusses the advantages and disadvantages of democracy and consequences of the majoritys unlimited power. To help students sharpen analytical skills by understanding, discussing and questioning the rationale behind the mendez verdict. Westminster school district et al 1946 was a class action suit filed by felicitas and gonzalo mendez against four southern california school districts. Westminster et al and the california board of education. Silvia mendez and her brothers went with their aunt soledad vidaurri and her two children to enroll at 17th street school in westminster.
I first have to point out that the case is not mendez vs westminster. Westminster school district, discusses the 1947 court case, which led to the desegregation of californias public schools. Adminstrator explained to soledad that her two children could register at the white elementary school since they were half white, light skinned and french last names. Gonzalo asked his sister, sally vidaurri, to take their children to school. Elementary school students in orange county california, as well as many other parts of the country, were forced to attend segregated schools. We are going to be looking more into the history of the trial mendez vs.
Westminster sylvias case, which was decided in the federal courts in california, preceded brown by about eight years. Westminster case was a landmark in the history of education in california. One of lulacs most notable initiatives was the preschool program known as the little school of the 400, which was designed to teach children 400 basic english words. The students of mendez high school in boyle heights write a book. Westminster, becoming the first federal court to order the desegregation of schools. At that time, there were a few newspaper articles and a couple of journal articles, but most of the research had to be done old school, by going to the santa ana public library and digging often on microfilm through newspaper articles and court documents. Based specifically on the assigned readings on mendez v.
I started teaching my students about the mendez v westminster case in 2001. Westminster school district case impact the brown case. He married felicitas in 1935 and, three years later, the young couple opened a cafe in santa ana. The school districts appealed the decision in westminster et al.
That means it was the first of its kind and it set a precedence for future cases, including brown vs the board of education of topeka et al. Gonzalos children were sent to the mexican school because they were too darkskinned and disapproved for their spanish. In march of 1945, five families in orange county, california, brought a class action lawsuit against four school districts on behalf of their own children and five thousand other children who were forced to attend segregated schools for mexican children. In its ruling, the united states court of appeals for the ninth circuit, in an en banc decision, held that the forced segregation of. On april 1947 there was a decision ruling on the mendez vs. The mendez case was important in the history of the united states because it set the precedence for passing other laws that protected the rights of minorities in schools. This website is dedicated to telling the story, along with providing documentation for students and historians, of the mendez et al v westminster et al court case. The donate button below also facilitates electronic donations. Westminster 1946, which ended the segregation of mexican americans in california schools. Dole was named president of the provisional government of hawaii 18941898 that was formed after the americanled coup. Pompa insisted, it has been 64 years since the mendez ruling, and if it takes us another 64 years to get to where we need to be, we are all in a lot of trouble. Board of education is a widely known landmark supreme court case, few can trace its origins to the case of nineyearold sylvia mendez in. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. Mexican american families in california secured an early legal victory in the push against school segregation.
On march 20, 20 in an interview that i coconducted with gonzalo mendez jr. Westminster and the california board of education, the u. It was a 1946 federal court case that challenged racial segregation in orange county, california schools. The opinion of the ninth circuit court of appeals reads as if the judge were planning for plessy v. Westminster case, and sandra robbie, the producer of mendez vs. Two schools are named after felicitas and gonzalo in southern california. In mclaurin vs oklahoma state it was found that by making separate areas for blacks it gives them a badge of inferiority compared to whites. An outstanding feature of gonzalezs 1940 book is that it provides a. Fifteen years later in 1946, a court reached the same result in mendez v.
District court for the southern district of california. Compare the impact of these two cases on ending public school segregation in the united states. Though the mendez decision did not push the dialogue on. The mendez family fought school segregation 8 years before. I believe that mendez vs westminster was one of several cases including the sweatt case which contributed to the. Westminster, the case that led to the desegregation of california. Sylvia mendez and her familys fight for desegregation. Thurgood marshall represented sylvia mendez and linda brown. The grassroots struggle for school desegregation in california exhibit santa ana old county courthouse, santa ana, ca september 2011june 2012. About perspectives on immigration the immigration policy centers perspectives are thoughtful narratives written by leading academics and researchers who bring a wide range of multi. Westminster during his undergraduate, graduate, and legal tenures, thomas saenz said he was already familiar with the case before reading strums book.
On august 18, 2010, author philippa strum gave a talk about her book, mendez v. To broaden 1112th grade students understanding of history and school desegregation, and encourage students to go beyond the history presented in school textbooks by introducing the littleknown yet important mendez v. Board of education, please respond to the following questions. Westminster was funded in part by a grants from the california civil liberties public education program and the wells fargo foundation. In the news article in the orange county register desegregation case may be required reading december 11, 2007.
How sacramento ca should integrate its segregated schools the. Apr 19, 2010 pompa insisted, it has been 64 years since the mendez ruling, and if it takes us another 64 years to get to where we need to be, we are all in a lot of trouble. Join sylvia mendez, one of the plaintiffs of the mendez v. For instance, in the year 1947, the federal state passed the anderson bill. Gonzalo and felicitas mendez and their children moved to the small town of westminster. Sep 23, 2010 on august 18, 2010, author philippa strum gave a talk about her book, mendez v. President barack obama awards civil rights activist sylvia mendez the 2010 medal of freedom during a ceremony in the east room of the white house in. Sallys children were accepted because of their surname and their light complexion. Westminister sic school district of orange county, et al, 64 f. Aug 30, 2015 in 1931, a county court in lemon grove, california ordered a school district to stop segregating its white and latino students. Mar 28, 2007 the case mendez et al vs westminster et al and the california board of education impacted the brown case in three very important ways. The icing on the cake occurred in 2011 when president obama awarded sylvia mendez the 2010 presidential medal of freedom. If our applause isnt loud enough, then well let others convince you. Separate is never equal by duncan tonatiuh childrens books.
On september 14, 2007, in santa ana, california, the postal service will issue a 41cent, mendez v. If you are interested in mexican american civil rights or in african american civil rights, you should read this book. Mar 19, 2010 i started teaching my students about the mendez v westminster case in 2001. Westminster is an important case in american civil rights. Westminster plays an underappreciated role in the struggle for civil rights in the united states. Answer comprehension questions while watching the videos of mendez v. Sylvia mendez, whose parents were the plaintiffs in mendez v. Get your team aligned with all the tools you need on one secure, reliable video platform. Mendez made possible the defeat of school segregation laws by revealing. Westminster, as well as how and why it started and similarities between both the mendez case, as well as the brown case. At age eight, she played an instrumental role in the mendez v. Separate is never equal by duncan tonatiuh childrens. Strum brings the people and debates of the case vividly to life, particularly the dedication of the latino parents at the center of the case who fought for equal education for their children in public schools. Express personal opinions about key facts, the arguments, decision, and impact of mendez v.
This is because it set the precedence for other similar discrimination cases. Westminster, is brought back to life through the story and illustrations of duncan tonatiuh in his childrens book separate is never equal. Soon after we moved to westminster, our aunt took us kids down to enroll us in the local schools. The school officials said that they would enroll my cousins because they had a frenchsounding last name and pale skin, but we, with a. This source briefly recaps the courts ruling of the mendez v. Teachers college record volume 107, number 3, march 2005, pp. Ferguson separate but equal segregation of railroad accommodations. Westminster, the first case about school segregation to be successfully challenged in federal court.
This barcode number lets you verify that youre getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. With the support of an amicus curiae brief from the national association of colored people naacp, mendez et al v. Westminster school district 1947 ruled that segregating mexican and latino children was unconstitutional. In the first booklength discussion of this case, strum analyzes how world war ii altered the legal views. Robbie is the orange county naacp 2003 citizen of distinction recipient and orange county mana honoree for her work in the media. Each of your answers should consist of one paragraph comprised of 57 sentences. A read is counted each time someone views a publication summary such as the title, abstract, and list of authors, clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the fulltext. The mexican american struggle for equal educational opportunity. The mendez family tried to enroll their kids at the local 17th street school. They fought not for their rights but for their childrens nonsegregated and equal lives since many of these workers were parents. In 2007, the postal service also honored the couple with a nifty and colorful stamp. The ninth circuit court of appeals reached this historic decision in the case of mendez v. Westminster school district is what launched the brown v. Teaching climate change in this increasingly challenging time.
Designed by ethel kessler of bethesda, maryland, the stamp goes on sale nationwide september 14, 2007. In 1943, orange countys westminster school district told gonzalo and felicitas. School desegregation and mexicanamerican rights, at busboys and poets. The campaign blew up, and dias gathered more than 10,000 books and even secured a book deal of her own. Mexicanamericans, sylvia mendez, segregation in education, racial persecution, mendez vs.625 894 22 431 547 104 1212 1236 1240 356 1463 1653 1500 1610 748 1378 728 754 321 102 299 93 974 1622 1152 754 285 73 1471 915 577 1083 334 1478 924 1106 463 809