Latin Americans in Texas. By Pauline R. Kibbe. Albuquerque
(The University of New Mexico Press), 1946. Pp. xxi+3o02.
There are in Texas more than one million people of Mexican
ancestry. This represents more than one-fifth of the total popu-
lation of the state. Eighty per cent or more of these people are
citizens of the United States. Many of their families have been
in this area since it was a province of Spain, and later, of Mexico.
They are commonly referred to as "Mexicans," though often, as
in the title of this work, they are referred to as "Latin Amer-
icans"-the latter being a euphemism which seeks to avoid the
opprobrium that is usually attached to "Mexicans." As Mrs.
Kibbe points out very clearly in this book, a large number of
these people are severely underprivileged, and their treatment
by the dominant group often borders on Jim Crowism.
The problems and issues which face these people, and the
state as a whole, are complex ones which would tax the best
efforts of public institutions and of state leadership. While Mrs.
Kibbe reveals that much interest and effort is being directed
toward the solution of their problems, it is quite obvious that,
by and large, public agencies and state leadership are fairly
complacent and indifferent to these problems and issues. The
prevalence of school segregation, whereby "Mexican" children
are housed in separate, and usually shabby, school buildings, is
a glaring illustration of this complacency and indifference. The
fact that citizens of Mexican ancestry have consistently been left
off the juries in many counties of the state where they constitute
a large sector of the total population illustrates this further.
Mrs. Kibbe gives considerable attention to the problems of the
migrant Mexicans, who live a semi-nomadic and miserable exist-
ence following the crops and the seasons across the face of the
state and often into other states. She also describes some of the
efforts being made in their behalf. It must be kept in mind,
however, that there are less than a hundred thousand seasonal
migratory laborers in the state and that the total population of
Mexican ancestry is more than one million. The seasonal agri-
cultural worker does present a very serious problem, but this is
only a small fraction of the total problem. The slums and the
morbidity and mortality of the Mexican people of San Antonio
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/. Accessed March 16, 2014.