Mexican American Political Advocacy from the 1930s to the 1950s

How did the U.S. government respond to the growth of the Hispanic-identifying population in the Southwest? As Mexican immigrants and Spanish-speaking citizens migrated from rural areas of Texas to cities, they encountered many difficulites fitting into institutions of the dominant "anglo" culture.

Discriminatory violence against Spanish-speakers at the beginning of the 20th century sparked Hispanic leadership to work towards equality. One difficulty these advocates faced was identifying their constituency. The Census Bureau in the 20th century also struggled to categorize the Spanish-speaking population.

Despite this difficulty, the effectiveness of leaders like Julian Samora and Allan Shivers can be seen in their government documents as evidence of their desire to promote equality. Their goal for meshing Spanish-speaking and "anglo" cultures produced tangible results like bill passing and the Good Neighbor Commission to identify and combat discrimination. The progress made in Texas’ public education system during this period is well celebrated and serves as proof of the efficacy of Hispanic leadership and advocacy.