Ethnic Community Builders: Mexican-Americans in Search of Justice and Power

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Ethnic Community Builders: Mexican-Americans in Search of Justice and Power is an oral history of Mexican-American activism in San JosZ, California, over the last half century. The authors present interviews of 14 people of various stripes—teachers, politicians, radio personalities—who have been influential in the development of a major urban center with a significant ethnic population. These activists tell the stories of their lives and work with engaging openness and honesty, allowing readers to witness their successes and failures. This vivid ethnography of a Mexican-American community serves as a model for activism wherever ethnic groups seek change and justice.

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Editorial Reviews

Bill Richardson
By documenting the oral accounts of experiences of Mexican-Americans across the American West, Ethnic Community Builders provides an original perspective of the struggles, successes, and challenges of Hispanics in urban centers. Too often, written accounts can obscure the character of important people and events. Ethnic Community Builders goes straight to the source and harmoniously captures the voices of these diverse groups of people tied together with a common bond—their unique ethnicity.
Francesco A. Lomeli
Ethnic Community Builders is a voluminous work of oral histories of struggle that come together into a noble, epic community. This grass-roots history emerges like a spring of uncontainable voices, creating a chorus of brave folks committed to social change. The work is destined to become a landmark study of a city (San José) transformed by individuals who shaped their concept of the American Dream. As agents of change, these activists demonstrate in unequivocal terms how they became leaders. They provide personal models of how to change a community through aspirations, know-how, and, ultimately, hope.
James A. Sandos
Unique and important, the authors have masterfully used oral history to create a mosaic of the animo, the soul, of the Mexican-American activists who galvanized the economically poor and socially discriminated against into a powerful community of American citizens. A must read for all those interested in ethnic community formation, Mexican-Americans in San José, CA, in particular, and the Southwest in general, those following the current immigration debates and especially partisans who allege that Mexican immigrants take more than they contribute. Read this book!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759111004
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 8/10/2007
  • Pages: 334
  • Product dimensions: 6.17 (w) x 9.27 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Francisco Jiménez is Fay Boyle Professor of Modern Languages and Literatures at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA, and author of several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature and culture. Alma Garc'a is professor of sociology at Santa Clara University and the author of numerous books on the Mexican-American community includingNarratives of Second Generation American Women(AltaMira).Richard A. Garcia is professor of history at California State University at Hayward and the author of numerous books and articles.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Leadership and Power Chapter 3 Victor Garza Chapter 4 Blanca Alvarado Chapter 5 Ron Gonzales Part 6 Politics and Society Chapter 7 Esther Medina Chapter 8 Sofía Mendoza Chapter 9 Ernestina García Part 10 Education and Social Change Chapter 11 Fernando Zazueta Chapter 12 Juan Olivérez Chapter 13 Yolanda Reynolds Part 14 Culture and the Arts Chapter 15 Adrian Vargas Chapter 16 Rigo Chacón Chapter 17 Mary Andrade Part 18 Religion and Community Chapter 19 Sal Álvarez Chapter 20 Gloria Loya, PVBM

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