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San Antonio

Alonso S. Perales: Civil Rights Trailblazer Traveling Exhibit

The first exhibit on the life and work of one of the most influential Mexican Americans of the twentieth century

Alonso S. Perales: Civil Rights Trailblazer Traveling Exhibit
Alonso S. Perales: Civil Rights Trailblazer Traveling Exhibit

Time & Location

Time is TBD

San Antonio, 2123 Buena Vista St, San Antonio, TX 78207, USA


About the event

More information will be posted soon!

Coming soon! A traveling exhibit on the life and legacy of Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960), civil rights activist, public intellectual, and US diplomat. Drawing from Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco's recently published biography of Perales, his first comprehensive biography, this exhibit will introduce Perales to a new generation.

This program is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

About Dr. Orozco's book:

Pioneer of Mexican American Civil Rights: Alonso S. Perales 

In this wide-ranging biography, historian Cynthia Orozco examines the life and work of one of the most influential Mexican Americans of the twentieth century. Alonso S. Perales was born in Alice, Texas, in 1898; he became an attorney, leading civil rights activist, author, and US diplomat.

Perales was active in promoting and seeking equality for “La Raza” in numerous arenas. In 1929, he founded the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the most important Latino civil rights organization in the United States. He encouraged the empowerment of Latinos at the voting box and sought to pass state and federal legislation banning racial discrimination. He fought for school desegregation in Texas and initiated a movement for more and better public schools for Mexican-descent people in San Antonio.

A complex and controversial figure, Alonso S. Perales is now largely forgotten, and this first-ever comprehensive biography reveals his work and accomplishments to a new generation of scholars of Mexican-American history and Hispanic civil rights. This volume is divided into four parts: the first is organized chronologically and examines his childhood to his role in World War I, the beginnings of his activism in the 1920s, and the founding of LULAC. The second section explores his impact as an attorney, politico, public intellectual, Pan-American ideologue, and US diplomat. Perales’ private life is examined in the third part and scholars’ interpretations of his legacy in the fourth.

About Dr. Orozco:

Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco is an award-winning best-selling author, public historian, and educator. Teaching first at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque she joined Eastern New Mexico University in Ruidoso where she recently received the ENMU-Ruidoso President's Award for Teaching and Service. She is the co-editor of Mexican Americans in Texas History, an associate editor of Latinas in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia, and served as Research Associate at the Texas State Historical Association where she wrote 80 articles on Texas history for the New Handbook of Texas.

A two-time Ford Foundation recipient, Governor Bill Richardson appointed her to the New Mexico Humanities Council. The Texas State Historical Association named Orozco a fellow in 2012 and New Mexico LULAC named her Educator of the Year in 2012. She served as campaign manager for Leo Martinez for Congress in the early 2000s.

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