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Fighting Their Own BattlesMexican Americans, African Americans, and the Struggle for Civil Rights in Texas$
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Brian D. Behnken

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834787

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877876_behnken

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(p.1) Introduction
Fighting Their Own Battles

Brian D. Behnken

University of North Carolina Press

This book begins with the story of how Texas legislators drafted a plethora of segregationist legislation designed to circumvent the Brown v. Board of Education decision outlawing school segregation. Mexican American and African American civil rights activists quickly organized to prevent these bills from passing. However, when a few Mexican Americans associated with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) suggested working with blacks in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), LULAC national president Felix Tijerina sternly reprimanded his colleagues, saying: “Let the Negro fight his own battles. His problems are not mine. I don't want to ally with him.” Over the next two decades, such sentiments intensified as the school desegregation battles continued.

Keywords:   Texas legislators, segregationist legislation, school segregation, civil rights activists, Latin American Citizens, LULAC, Colored People, NAACP

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