Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Liberation and Struggle in Texas

Not one but two civil rights movements flourished in mid-twentieth century Texas, and they did so in intimate conversation with one another. African American and Mexican Activist activists combated the twin caste systems of Jim Crow and Juan Crow and worked chiefly within their own racial groups, yet they also looked to each other for guidance and, at times, came together in solidarity. The movements sought more than integration and access: they demanded power, justice, and self-determination.

Lecture Description

Max Krochmal’s *Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project* collected more than 500 new interviews from grassroots activists in every corner of Texas in order to tell the stories of the state’s intersecting African American and Mexican American liberation struggles. Far from the gaze of the national media, Black and Brown activists combated the twin caste systems of Jim Crow and Juan Crow. These insurgents worked chiefly within their own racial groups, yet they also looked to each other for guidance and, at times, came together in solidarity. The movements sought more than integration and access: they demanded power and justice.

The testimonies speak in detail to the structure of racism in the state’s huge metropolises as well as it small towns—both the everyday grind of segregation and the haunting acts of racial violence that upheld Texas’s state-sanctioned systems of white supremacy. Through their memories of resistance and revolution, activists reveal previously undocumented struggles for equity, as well as the links Black and Chicanx organizers forged in their efforts to achieve self-determination.

This lecture surveys the key themes that emerged in the research team’s writing of a new collaborative book: life under segregation, the role of state-sanctioned violence, struggles for equity in public services, political self-determination and agency, and Black-Brown coalition building. It also includes a deep dive into the case of San Antonio, where a new generation of Black Power activists propelled the struggles against police brutality and for independent representation by joining forces with Chicano/a movement activists, including in La Raza Unida Party and the San Antonio Committee to Free Angela Davis.

CATEGORIES

Civil Rights Latino Latina

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