Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993 Page: 45
This periodical is part of the collection entitled: Legacies: a History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the Dallas Historical Society.
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maintain traditional domestic roles under extreme
adverse conditions. Another essay examines the
lives of several Texas women teachers, many of
whom were married, showing them as economically
independent individuals who did not fit the accepted
roles of domesticity or separate spheres for women.
One essay deals with images of women in a Texas
African-American magazine of the early 1950s,
showing complex, positive multiple roles for black
American women and contrasting those images with
treatment found in general circulation magazines.
Other essays deal with Texas women writers and the
need to understand the literary history of Texas
Taken together, the essays provide both a
sample of the kind of research now being done and
a challenge for the future. Although there is no
central theme other than Texas women's history, the
editors and authors raise important questions and
suggest directions for additional work. Historians
need much more information about the lives of the
diverse people who have shaped Texas culture in
order to contrast their experiences with those of
people in other frontier and urban areas and to define
and understand gender-based assumptions and roles,
so that we may more fully comprehend the history of
Texas and the nation, a history which includes the
shared work of both men and women. The essays
Downs and Jones have skillfully edited present new
information and point toward the development of a
new field of Texas women's history. The book
belongs in every university and public library in
-Sylvia W. McGrath
Stephen F. Austin State University
Emilio Zamora, The World of the Mexican
Worker in Texas (College Station: Texas A & M
Press, 1993, 210pp., $39.50)
Historians are beginning to discover the impact
of the Mexican presence in the Southwest and
of its importance to the larger Anglo community.
Living as workers on land their ancestors once
owned, many Mexicans north of the border found
themselves treated as aliens in a land formerly
theirs. Bitterness and prejudice are only now giving
way to an understanding and appreciation for their
culture. Most of the research on this subject started
in California; however, since the Mexican-American
experience differs from state to state, the historian
needs to know how Mexican Americans faced
the problems they encountered in each area where
In his preface, Emilio Zamora addresses this
problem, noting that this book began in 1972 as a
project focusing on Mexican labor history in Texas.
Earlier labor historians ignored the activities of
Texas' Mexican population, creating the impression
that Mexican laborers were apathetic and disorganized
in the first twenty years of this century.
Zamora's purpose in writing this book is to correct
this impression, and he is successful.
During the early twentieth century, Mexicans
worked in a variety of industries. While many toiled
in the fields, picking cotton, onions, and other crops,
a growing number found work on the railroads, in
the mines, in factories in the cities, and as laborers
engaged in public works. Still others were skilled
workers, such as tailors, bakers, barbers, and shoemakers.
Under the aegis of Samuel Gompers, the
founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL),
Anglo workers had begun to organize themselves
into unions by the beginning of this century. After
World War I, this movement grew in strength.
Mexicans, contrary to the earlier image, were extremely
active in forming unions, either on their own
THE WORLD OF THE
MEXICAN WRKER IN TEXAS
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Dallas County Heritage Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 5, Number 2, Fall, 1993, periodical, 1993; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35115/m1/47/: accessed June 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.