The Most Important Desegregation Case You Never Heard Of

The Most Important Desegregation Case You Never Heard Of

Gonzalo Guzmán

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022
12:30 pm | Brazos Hall and Online via Zoom

Registration Required

In 1914 the Mexican American community of Alamosa, Colorado, won one of the earliest school desegregation cases in American history; Francisco Maestas et al. v. George H. Shone et al. (1914). Although the case was well publicized during its time, it was lost, forgotten, or ignored. The case was not referenced in one of the most famous desegregation cases in Colorado history, Keyes v. School District No. 1, Denver (1973). It took over a century for the case to be rediscovered. Which begs the question; what else don’t we know about the segregation and desegregation story of Latinx communities in the United States? And what does this case mean for the larger American narrative about schools, race, racism, and justice?

Dr. Gonzalo Guzmán will discuss Maestas v. Shone (1914) as part of a larger narrative of racial segregation and desegregation of Mexican American children beyond the border Southwest with a focus on the Intermountain States of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, and Wyoming. Guzmán argues that public schools were central in marking the Latinx community as racially non-White and that this was not a regional story but occurred everywhere the Mexican American community migrated and settled. In other words, the Latinx experience is central to understanding the history of schooling and the construction of race in the US.

Gonzolo Guzman, 2022Dr. Gonzalo Guzmán is from Wapato in the Yakama Nation of Washington State. His research focuses on the racialization and educational histories of Latina/o/x communities in the Mountain States and Pacific Northwest of the US. His work has been published in the Journal of Latinos and Education, History of Education Quarterly, Education’s Histories, Critical Readings on Latinos and Education, and Annals of Wyoming. Additionally, his research and commentary has been featured in Colorado, Washington, and Wyoming NPR and PBS affiliate stations, as well as the National Park Service. He is currently finalizing his first book manuscript tentatively titled: Education for a New Race: Making Whites and Schooling the Mexican in Greater Juan Crow.

For more on Dr. Guzman’s scholarship, community collaborations, and teaching please see his personal website.