In the article “Hispanic Heritage Month: Sylvia Mendez” (BTW, Admin 2021), I learned how Sylvia Mendez’s parents helped to end segregation in a school located in Orange County alongside four other families. This story is not learned about often or heard about because it was one of the small battles to end segregation before the big supreme court case of Brown v.s Board. The Mendez parents tried to enter their children into a school but were turned away because of the children’s skin tone. They had to go to a school that did not care about giving them a good education but instead taught the girls how to housekeep and the boys labor jobs. The parents together helped stop the segregation when the court ruled in their favor but the transition of the schools merging was not an easy transition, especially with the Anglo parents being very upset about their children all being in the same school.

I believe that this is a very interesting story that should be brought up more because of how there are many more like it that started in a small area but are not heard of often. It is also very interesting in my opinion because the school did not try to hide how they were discriminating based on skin color the Mendez children had cousins who were a bit lighter skin than them and the school was willing to accept the cousins to the school but not the Mendez children. It is upsetting how the schools did not think that Mexican children were worth teaching and did not encourage them but instead made them feel less of a person and like they could not do something big in life. I am very glad the parents decided to fight the school on it to get their children a fair education.

Do you think this is a part of history that should be taught more?

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