April 14, 1947 – Landmark District Court Case of Westminster School Dist. of Orange County v. Mendez re Segregation

Historically, Hispanic children were segregated from Anglo children in many public school districts in the southwestern states. The legal struggle in the courts to rectify that segregation took several interesting turns as it (1) influenced, and (2) was influenced by, the litigation efforts by blacks to end racial segregation in the public schools. A landmark case in the struggle for equality was Westminster School Dist. of Orange County et al. v. Mendez et al. (161 F.2d 774, 9th Circuit), decided April 14, 1947. This book for children tells that story from the point of view of young Sylvia Mendez. Sylvia Mendez was born in 1936 to a Mexican immigrant father and a Puerto Rican immigrant mother. When Sylvia was eight, her aunt took her, her siblings, and her nephews and tried to enroll the children in the “whites-only” school because it was superior to the ill-equipped wooden shack for Hispanic students. Sylvia’s aunt was told by school officials that her…

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