The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002 Page: 704
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
book, as either Mexican American or Chicano historians and as examples of one
kind of history or another. This only serves to confuse the student reader and is
unnecessary for specialists. Aside from that, another welcome contribution is the
very well done bibliographical essay that concludes the collection and will be of
real use to anyone interested in pursuing the literature around one of the many
themes introduced in this thoughtful and valuable compilation.
This book has the self-proclaimed goal of demonstrating "the scholarly pro-
duction of Chicanos," and it succeeds admirably in doing that. People reading the
book will recognize two things: that the production has been prodigious, and that
as a body it has not only recorded historical change, but contributed to it.
Southwest Texas State Universzty Paul Hart
Brown, Not Whzte: School Integration and the Chicano Movement in Houston. By Guada-
lupe San MiguelJr. (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 200oo1. Pp.
xiii+275. Illustrations, tables, preface, notes, index. ISBN 1-58544-115-5.
The education of its children has been a central concern of the twentieth-cen-
tury Mexican American community, particularly in Texas. Guadalupe San Miguel
Jr., already the author of an important history of Mexican American educational
reform in the Lone Star State, has now produced an insightful case study of the
turbulent events of school desegregation for Mexican Houstonians during the
The author divided his book into three sections. As background, Part I provides
an historical overview of Houston's Mexican Americans to 1960, which includes
their experiences with discrimination and substandard conditions in the city's
public schools. In Part II, which covers from 1960 through the summer of 1970,
San Miguel outlines how Mexican American school reformers in Houston began
to act through groups that ranged from middle class advocates to militant Chi-
cano Movement youth. By 1969, as one participant noted, the Bayou City's barrios
were "beginning to rumble" (p. 53) for meaningful educational change.
The eruption came in response to the Houston Independent School District's
desegregation plan, ordered by the federal courts in the summer of 1970, which
paired Mexican American students with black students in twenty-five HISD ele-
mentary schools. In effect, the courts and HISD administrators wanted to use Chi-
canos as "whites" in an effort to avoid inconveniencing Anglo Houstonians.
Seeking recognition as an identifiable minority group, among other demands,
thousands of Mexican Houstonians, under the leadership of the Mexican Ameri-
can Education Council (MAEC), took their children out on strike at the begin-
ning of the 1970-1971 academic year. Recognizing their plight as a distinct
minority, they launched their struggle under the battle cry "Brown, brown, we're
not white, we're brown" (p. 104).
Part III, the most engaging and lengthiest section, details the complex story of
the 1970s turmoil. The initial MAEC school boycott involved 3,500 students, last-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 105, July 2001 - April, 2002, periodical, 2001; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101222/m1/760/?rotate=90: accessed April 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.