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A Community Study

about the American national identity so crucial to the prosperity of the republic. In an excerpt of the book published in Foreign Policy maga- zine, Huntington writes, “The persistent inflow of Hispanic immigrants threatens to divide the United States into two peoples, two cultures, and two languages. Unlike past immigrant groups, Mexicans and other T h r e e Dimensions of Mexican-American Assimilation UC-Jimenez-CS4-ToPress.indd 66 8/27/2009 10:42:53 AM M e x i c a n - A m e r i c a n A s s i m i l a t i o n 67 Latinos have not assimilated into

179 As the last two chapters have shown, not only do foreign-born Mexicans provide abundant access to ethnic raw materials, but also they influence the boundaries of ethnic identity. The large Mexican-immigrant pres- ence places Mexican Americans in an in-between position that makes them seem at times not completely American and at other times not fully Mexican. This in-between position shapes how Mexican Americans view immigration from their ethnic homeland. As U.S.-born people of Mexican descent, the people I interviewed are part of the larger “host

. As figure 2 shows, the continuing relevance of Gamio’s observations owes to the constancy of Mexican immigration since the early twenti- eth century. This chapter covers both the broad historical contours of Mexican-American history nationwide and the more specific histories T wO Mexican Americans A H i s t o r y o f R e p l e n i s h m e n t a n d A s s i m i l a t i o n Mexican emigration to the United States is made up, mainly, of unskilled labor, a great population turning to the United States for wages better than it can procure in its own country

12 o n e Th e White Architects of Mexican American Education Th e ignorant are allowed to live and breed under conditions that become a threat and a menace to the welfare of the community. Many cases of fi lth and disease and contagion are found by us in the school work. We suggest to these Mexican people that they care for themselves, but they do nothing. Th e personal health of the Mexican children in the grammar school aff ects every child in the school. —r ic h a r d b . h ay d o c k , J a n ua r y 3 1 , 1917 in january 1917, school

143 5 Fighting the Segregation Amendment Black and Mexican American Responses to Proposition 14 in Los Angeles Ma x fElKEr-K antor On June 20, 1964, the United Civil Rights Committee (UCRC), a pre- dominantly African American civil rights organization, began a voter registration drive in Los Angeles’s black and Mexican American neigh- borhoods in hopes of defeating Proposition 14 in the November elec- tion. The goal of the drive, according to the city’s weekly African American newspaper, the Los Angeles Sentinel, was to “register 200,000 non-voting Negro

100 f i v e A Common Cause Emerges for Mexican American and Black Organizers Dear Sir. . . . Your editorial of March 8 raising the hue and cry of “outside interference” smacks of the time-worn plaint of news- papers and citizens in the deep South who hope to throw up a smoke screen so that the real issues cannot be seen. —a lt h e a t. l . s i m mons , R eg ion a l F i e l d S e c r e ta r y, N A AC P, 1963 on march 18, 1963, althea t. l. simmons, the fi eld secretary for the western region of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored

chapter 5 The Fight for “Health, Morality, and Decent Living Standards” Mexican Americans and the Struggle for Public Housing in 1930s Los Angeles Since the mid-1910s, when the Los Angeles County Health Department began providing services to Mexicans, their health conditions improved little compared to those of whites. What did change was the stance Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles began to take con- cerning their life conditions.1 From the 1910s and continuing into the 1930s, Mexicans had tended to turn to the Mexican consulate with their problems

Money, Work, and Culture in the Mexican American Barrio
Testimonios of the Movement