Description: Pedro "Pete" Mendez was born in South Texas and arrived in the Texas Panhandle through migrant labor with his parents in the 1930s. His father died in Clarendon, TX and he was raised between Amarillo and Tucumcari, NM. He joined the Marines during WWII and served in Northern China. Upon returning, he began a small construction business and helped start the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He spoke on the opportunities he and other minority business owners had through government grants and contracts. Jessie Mendez grew up in Amarillo. She recounts segregated schools and business in Amarillo during her childhood. She especially recounts her mother helping end segregation for Mexican Americans in one theater. Jessie talked about not being able to gain a job as a secretary because of her Mexican ethnicity, and thus giving up in the prospect of being employed and settling for marriage. She also recounts pushing her husband to work for civil rights, but she herself followed tradition and stayed home to raise her children.
Date: June 6, 2016
Duration: 45 minutes 44 seconds
Creator: Wisely, Karen; Zapata, Joel; Mendez, Pete & Mendez, Jessie
Item Type: Refine your search to only Video
Partner: TCU Mary Couts Burnett Library