Warriors for Social Justice: Maria Jimenez of Houston and Mexican American Activists (Al Filo: Mexican American Studies Series #12) (Hardcover)

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Warriors for Social Justice examines the contributions of Mexican American activists to the nation’s democratic values by concentrating on the activism of Maria Jiménez (1950–2020) in Houston, Texas. Linda J. Quintanilla tells the life story of this admired immigrant and human rights activist who not only fought racist discriminations such as segregation but also typified other Mexican American activists. Quintanilla documents how Jiménez and other activists advanced social justice by promoting our nation’s best virtues, especially equality.
      In 1971, when only 20, Jiménez already had a definition of what it meant for her to be an activist: “when I see a problem which I feel needs a solution, then I go out to solve it.” Quintanilla describes her lifelong battle against injustice, be it racist, sexist, or anti-immigrant animus. The Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride in 2003, only one of her many impressive achievements, delighted her the most. The experience introduced its participants, undocumented immigrants, to historic places and African American activists and descendants from the Civil Rights Movement. The Freedom Ride, Jiménez believed, not only was educational but also inspired the immigrants in their long and difficult fight to gain legal status—a true victory for social justice.
      Quintanilla uses Critical Race Theory (CRT), which examines the relationship between race, racism, and power, as the framework for studying Jiménez and Mexican American activism. She describes the racial discrimination that the Mexican-origin community experienced in Texas, with a focus on Houston, dating from the state’s earliest years and continuing into the twenty-first century. The commonplace belief in the inferiority of the Mexican-origin minority contributed, for example, to segregation, substandard public schools, and denial of the vote and jury duty. Quintanilla also addresses the violence this community suffered from authorities and examines immigration laws in depth in order to provide a historical context to the current national debate on immigration.

About the Author

LINDA J. QUINTANILLA taught history at the University of Houston and Houston-area community colleges. She earned an Ed.D. from the University of Houston and is a volunteer archivist at the Austin History Center

Praise For…

“Maria Jiménez is one of the most important Latinas in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This is an essential biography of a transnational political activist, organizer, and thinker placed in the context of Houston, a city that witnessed major global changes in the twentieth century.”—Cynthia Orozco, author of No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement
Product Details
ISBN: 9781574419122
ISBN-10: 1574419129
Publisher: University of North Texas Press
Publication Date: March 15th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: Al Filo: Mexican American Studies Series