The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 353
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2003 Whither Tejano History: Origins, Development, and Status
Tejano history similarly investigated the historical antecedents of preju-
dice. Some early works argued stridently that the Mexican American
experience in Texas was little more than a lengthy procession of victim-
ization and oppression."
Early Tejano history also attempted to disabuse the public of the
image it held of the ahistoric Mexican, an impression left by the almost
complete omission of Tejanos from standard textbooks. Writers also
wished to dispel the common belief that the Tejanos' disadvantage in
society lay in problems inherent in Mexican American culture, and
instead endeavored to present Tejanos as agents and subjects capable
of animation, not solely reacting to historical currents. Certainly, it was
noted, Mexican American communities had produced distinguished
figures that ranked among Texas notables. Brought to scholarly atten-
tion now was the illustrious career of historian Carlos E. Castafieda, for
example, and resurrected from obscurity were such equally renowned,
albeit unsung, Tejanos as Sara Estela Ramirez, Alonso Perales, and
Historians in the 197os also gave agency (a term currently used to
explain that subjects have historically relied on their will to improve
upon individual and group conditions) to Tejanos. As was the case
with other non-elites, scholars argued, Tejanos had made their own
mark on Texas history, taking stands on political ideals and displaying
a kind of valor on the battlefield that historians heretofore only attrib-
uted to whites. Contrary to the image of the siesta-prone Mexican,
other writers noted, Mexican Americans challenged injustice in vari-
ous ways, from individual cases of confronting racial disparagement to
group responses against educational segregation, disfranchisement
and job discrimination.16
" This thesis was most clearly advanced in Arnoldo De Le6n, "White Racial Attitudes toward
Mexicans in Texas" (Ph.D. diss., Texas Christian University, 1974), and Julian Samora, et al.
(eds.), Gunpowder Justice- A Reassessment of the Texas Rangers (Notre Dame: University of Notre
Dame Press, 1979).
SFlihx D. Almariz Jr , "Carlos E Castafieda, Mexican American Historian: The Formative
Years, 1896-1927," Pacific Hstorical Review, 42 (Aug., 1973), 319-334; Fdlix D. Almariz Jr.,
"Carlos E. Castafieda and Our Catholic Heritage. The Initial Volumes (1933-1943)," Social Science
Journal, 13 (Apr, 1976); Emilio Zamora Jr., "Sara Estela Ramfrez: Una Rosa en el Movimiento,"
in Magdalena Mora and Adelaida R. Del Castillo (eds.), Mexican Women in the United States:
Struggle Past and Present (Los Angeles: Chicanos Studies Research Center, 1980), 163-169; and
Adela Sloss-Vento, Alonso S Perales: His Struggle for the Rights of Mexican Americans, edited and with
an introduction by Arnold C. Vento (San Antonio: Artes Grificas, 1977). Supplementing these
Tejano authors was John Denny Reily, "Santos Benavides: His Influence on the Lower Rio
Grande, 1823-1891" (Ph.D. diss., Texas Christian University, 1976).
11 For select examples, see Jerry D. Thompson, Vaqueros in Blue and Gray (Austin: Presidial
Press, 1974); Jose E. Lim6n, "Stereotyping and Chicano Resistance: An Historical Dimension,"
Aztldn, 4 (Fall, 1973), 257-270; Carl Allsup, "Education is Our Freedom: The American G.I.
Forum and the Mexican American School Segregation in Texas, 1948-1957," Aztldn, 8 (Spring,
Summer, Fall, 1977), 27-50; and Bailey, "The Starr County Strike," 42-61.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/421/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.