The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984 Page: 150
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
spent much time on the migratory trail, and, the study concluded,
were not equipped with skills necessary for advancement in the Ameri-
can economy. Not surprisingly, then, the average yearly income of
$1,253 included the yearly earnings of families with two or more
working adults and families who received at least a portion of their in-
come from welfare. Twenty-five percent of the families were on wel-
There was a definite parallel between the economic plight of these
residents and their neighbors outside the courts. But the court occu-
pants enjoyed significantly better living conditions. The surrounding
areas were still characterized by "extreme poverty, over-crowding, ...
lack of modern conveniences," and poor health. In Alazan-Apache
Courts, however, observers noted that the residents were healthier and
enjoyed a higher standard of living than those outside. The 1952 study
found that almost 70 percent of the 118 families it investigated lived
in well-furnished or "fairly well furnished" homes, and over 6o per-
cent of the homes were described as clean. There were also signs of in-
creased acceptance and use of such "American culture" items as radios
and washing machines; 25 percent of the families even had televisions.
This was no utopia. There were still the problems that accompany
poverty, including reliance on welfare, prostitution, and marital in-
stability. But, as the observers noted in discussing the changes in con-
suming patterns, health, and pride in environment, the people in the
courts were coping better and changing faster than their outside neigh-
bors. The atmosphere was definitely more positive.53
The Mexican community benefited from the Alazan-Apache proj-
ect. Its role in the planning and development of the courts was negli-
gible, reflecting its minimal economic and political clout at the time.
The courts demonstrated, however, that the community was not with-
out friends, nor did it live without hope. Even in a financially
troubled city, local citizens and a national government agency, con-
cerned for a deprived minority and willing to devote efforts on its
behalf, succeeded in fashioning a working project. This perhaps can
be criticized as "the Great White Father complex." But given the
circumstances, the times, and the good accomplished, it was a signifi-
cantly better attitude than laissez-faire.
S2Murray, Socio-Cultural Study, lo, 26-28, 98-117.
68Ibid., 8 (ist quotation), 9, 31 (and quotation), 32-33, 136; Goodrich to Willging,
Mar. 27, 1945, Tranchese Papers.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984, periodical, 1983/1984; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/m1/186/: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.