In the early 1900s, large numbers of people crossed the border from Mexico into the United States. These new immigrants found a country where brown skin and lack of skills were not welcome. Public swimming pools were closed to them, education was separate and not equal, punishment was common for speaking Spanish in school or on the playground, and Mexican culture was denigrated. Access to equal educational opportunities for Mexican American children has been the subject of many court cases since that time. This entry describes the initial situation and the court cases that have sought to gain equity.

Historical Background

In the period from 1921–1930, when 3 percent of Mexico's population had moved to the United States, the strains of the Depression in the rural areas ...

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