• IDRA Newsletter • October 2017 •
IDRA joined former state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos Jr. and many others recently at the installation of a historical marker to commemorate the 1948 Delgado vs. Bastrop case that ended legal segregation of Mexican Americans in Texas. To commemorate this historic event, on September 23, 2017, a Texas Historical Marker was unveiled at the site of the former school, and a city park was dedicated honoring Ms. Delgado and the students of Mina Ward School. Sen. Barrientos, who was instrumental in getting the Texas Historical Commission marker for the former school site, attended Mina Ward in the first grade.
As described in the event program, prior to the 1950s, most Mexican American children in Texas attended segregated public schools. In Bastrop, Texas, they attended the “Mina Ward School.” In 1948, a group of professionals, including future civil rights icons Attorney Gustavo Garcia, University of Texas Professor George I. Sánchez, and Dr. Hector P. García, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a group of Mexican American children attending the racially-segregated schools in four school districts including Bastrop. The American G.I. Forum and LULAC were instrumental in this effort. The desegregation case was named Delgado et al vs. Bastrop Independent School District after one of the plaintiffs, Minerva Delgado. Federal Judge Ben H. Rice ruled in their favor, ending legal segregation of Mexican Americans in Texas.
Here’s a news story about the Mina Ward School and the Delgado vs. Bastrop event this weekend.
Here’s another news story about event with a good background interview of former state Sen. Gonzalo Barrientos, who was instrumental in getting the Texas Historical Commission marker for the former school site. He attended Mina Ward in the first grade.
[©2017, IDRA. This article originally appeared in the October 2017 IDRA Newsletter by the Intercultural Development Research Association. Permission to reproduce this article is granted provided the article is reprinted in its entirety and proper credit is given to IDRA and the author.]