The Mexican American community's relationship with the Anglodominated public school system has been multifaceted, complex, and ambiguous to say the least.
On one level, an organized community has consistently struggled for equality in the existing educational institutions. Its story, although full of crushed hopes and legal frustrations, is imbued with a sense of accomplishment. At another level, individual Mexican Americans who have attended segregated public schools over the years also have a complex and diverse story to tell. For some, there are fond memories of school activities gone by. For others, the school years have been negative in general_children have been victims of humiliating and depressing incidents of racial discrimination and social ostracism.
Texas' public school system is of particular historical interest because of the state's record, according to Guadalupe San Miguel, for providing the least amount of public education for Mexican Americans while fiercely defending its record of inferior and separate schooling. Additionally, Texas was the first state in which Mexican Americans organized to seek educational equality.
In "Let All of Them Take Heed," first published in 1987 and one of the earliest books to focus on this plight of the Hispanic community, San Miguel traces the Mexican American quest for educational equality in Texas over a period of fifty years. In describing this struggle over the years, he emphasizes the socioeconomic factors affecting it and the strategies the Hispanic community used to reach its goals.
“Since its release, Guadalupe San Miguel’s Let All of Them Take Heed has remained the classic on the history of Texas-Mexican efforts to achieve educational parity. Rare is the bibliography that does not list it as a standard text in Mexican American History.”--Arnoldo De León, Angelo State University — Arnoldo De León, Angelo State University