On Sunday August 20, a memorable event took place at the Women’s Museum of California. It was publicized as a book signing of the recently released Chicana Tributes: Activist Women of the Civil Rights Movement, but in reality, it was an ebullient celebration. The book documents the work of sixty-one women who were fearless and committed trailblazers in the Chicano civil rights movement in the late twentieth century and beyond. A number of those women were and still are deeply connected to San Diego’s own history of that movement. [Read more…]
Margarita and Lorenzo Carriedo lived at 1759 National Ave in one of the bungalows owned by the late Mike Amador. They, like Mike, had grown up in Logan Heights in the 1920’s and 30’s and raised their own children there. Neighborhood House figures prominently in the memories of Margarita and two of her sons– Ruben and Marcos, all of whom I had the opportunity to interview. Mrs Carriedo, like so many of the other women I have interviewed, remembers Logan Heights as a neighborhood filled with maintained, well kept houses and lovely gardens. It was a good place to raise a family. [Read more…]
Enrique Morones’ fight for justice and human dignity
There are many reasons for reading Border Angels The Power of One by Enrique Morones with Richard Griswold del Castillo. It includes powerful border stories and photographs that give a face to the many hurdles confronting those who come to El Norte.
Some of the stories come from mothers or other family members who have not heard from or seen their grown children for months or years. Immigration is the hot issue today. Do those who speak against undocumented workers know the hardship and pain the families face? [Read more…]
There is a new and exciting book titled “San Diego Lowriders: A History of Cars and Cruising”. Authors Alberto López Pulido and Rigoberto “Rigo” Reyes capture a history and culture that is not always thought of when the history of San Diego is related.
This book begins with the roots of lowriding and introduces us to organized car clubs. The authors emphasize the pride and respect Lowriders had for their community, for their cars, and for each other. Car clubs became a focal point and have remained a common ground for community drivers to the present day.
The general public is not aware that Lowriders are actually part of the history of San Diego as early as 1950. [Read more…]
The Mexican Repatriation and hard times
Editor Note: “Build a wall” and “Send them all back” have become the mantra of the Trump campaign and Republican party. This is not the first time in our history that racism and xenophobia have threatened our democracy and the lives of our citizenry.
Between 1929 and 1944, over two million people of Mexican descent were repatriated to Mexico. Sixty percent of these individuals, 1.1 million, were American citizens. This encore presentation of Maria Garcia’s article originally published in 2015 provides insight into how this policy affected the lives of people living in San Diego at the time.
As William Faulkner observed “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” [Read more…]
San Diego Unified had what was then called a leadership list for future administrators. Thinking she would be able to have more influence if she became an administrator, Rosalia applied. While being interviewed by an assistant superintendent, she was told she didn’t qualify for the leadership list because she did not have experience north of Interstate 8. Rosalia took the moment to explain that she had no desire to be in an assignment north of 8 and that she thought those teachers north of 8 should have south of 8 teaching experience.
The assistant superintendent also explained that the second reason she could not be considered for the leadership list was that she had participated in a one-day teacher strike. She then informed him that she had no intention of applying for the leadership list. [Read more…]
Part I: From Laredo Texas to San Diego
Rosalia describes herself as lucky. She grew up in Laredo, Texas, the daughter of hardworking parents. She says her father Octavio was the hardest working man she has ever met. Her mother Alicia, who loved music and sincerely enjoyed meeting people, had an anything is possible attitude. Ocatvio was born in Mexico and Alicia was born in Michigan to a mother who had also been born in the United States.
Rosalia’s mother faced tremendous economic challenges. Her maternal grandfather Celestino left Texas before 1920 and moved to Detroit Michigan in search of a better livelihood. Celestino was born in Saltillo, and while living in Texas, worked as a shoe repair man. When the word spread all over the country that the Ford Motor company was hiring, Celestino, like many other Mexicanos, moved north in search of a better life. [Read more…]
You want me to get over it please tell me how.
How do I get over knowing little kids are being threatened and others kids are taught to hate?
How do I get over knowing the “all men are created equal” and Dr. King’s dream were lost in the politics of hate?
How do I get over knowing that the new Supreme Court will harm our country for the next 40 years?
How do I get over knowing the decisions they make will hurt my nieces and nephew long after I am gone and can’t protect them? [Read more…]
By Maria Garcia and Connie Zuniga
Bill Gibbs loved airplane flight so much that by the age of twenty-two he had developed barren scrub land in San Diego into his own airport and established a flying service there. Bill, who grew up in Logan Heights, recounted a remarkable story to us at his Mt. Soledad home. He spoke of family hardships during his youth, of hard work and how his passion for flying ultimately led him to develop what is now known as Montgomery Field Airport and a flying service that continues to operate today.
Bill’s story is also a remarkably long one– he will be 105 years old in October. [Read more…]
Jess Haro is well known in San Diego’s Latino community. The Chicano activist has been a City Councilman, Chairman of the Board of the Chicano Federation and has served on various boards in our community. How did the boy born in Stockton, California end up in San Diego?
Jess’s father immigrated to the United States in 1918. Jess’s mother became a widow from her first husband in Durango, Mexico and followed her daughter to the United States in 1923. It was a very long journey and took eight days by mule to reach Nogales where she then caught a train to El Monte, California. She went to work at the Hick’s Ranch and lived in the huge farm worker camp located in El Monte. [Read more…]
In Part I the activist path of Linda and Carlos LeGerrette connected them with United Farm Worker efforts in Keene California in the early 70s. Part II provides more details about their work with César Chávez and the UFW, how the couple faced personal crises and their abiding commitment to community service here in San Diego.
César Chávez approached Carlos and Linda about going to La Paz, where he had moved the United Farm Workers’ headquarters in 1971 from Delano. “On 187 acres in the small Tehachapi mountain town of Keene, Chávez began building a community of fellow union members and volunteers who worked with him full time for social justice.”
La Paz was housed in a former tuberculosis sanatorium. Linda and Carlos’ room was in what had been the kitchen. [Read more…]
Linda and Carlos LeGerrette are known in San Diego for their Chicano activism, particularly with farm workers. They started César Chávez clubs in San Diego and have been politically active for decades. They continue to be examples of what can be achieved when working together, not only in marriage but through a shared value system. Like many of us, they have had their share of life’s ups and downs. Both grew up poor but as Linda puts it they weren’t aware of that because everyone around them was also poor. [Read more…]