tv American History TV CSPAN3 April 2, 2016 1:52pm-2:16pm EDT
conflicts shut down. andad the federal facility come at that time, we turn it into one of the modern container terminals. more we are today can hundred and four years later is that we're cigna on the most modern sustainable marine container terminal in the world. once the c-span city tour today at noon eastern on c-span's to book tv. the c-span city's tour, working with our favorite affiliates and visiting cities across the country's. >> next, we look at the history of the chicago movement. mask or call spoke about activists in texas that developed from the 1930's through the 60's which brought mexican-americans, african-americans, labor leaders and others together. his remarks are 20 minutes. our next speaker was at the conference in 2012.
assistantsor is the professor of history at texas christian university. here's fugitive phd in history from duke university, and he has a book co-authored with one of the giants in the area titled the day of america's politics. his discussion is about to be the released book is entitled blue texas. labor, civil rights and the making of the democratic coalition to be published by the university of north carolina. [applause] >> thank you for that wonderful introduction. and for having me here, again today. i do not think i have ever been
call that. it is a real honor. it is especially in our to and so the book is not yet out. i some of my esteemed colleagues, it got delayed. it will be out in august. it is also good to be here, although it feels like with the it is a relational mostly ethnic study. as mario said, that is an important part of the deal. i'm glad to be here doing this for all parts. there is my cover. we have a new title. i'm very excited about it. today, i'll give a quick overview of the book. focusing on the wing of the story. especially for the larger narrative aired on august 20 8, 1963, while much of america watched the march on washington, nearly 1000 demonstrators gathered in east austin texas to march towards the state capital in 102 degrees heat. veteran activists of all colors from across the state blamed
several hundred local black teenagers, white college students and mexican-american activist join the movement. they met at a park knew the capital, chairing or the capital -- for the leaders. a passage ofor federal and state civil rights acts. they will never separate the latin american and the negro and politics. they will never separate the independent white man and the negro. the labor in the negro. we will march and pray on the streets. we will fight in the ballot box and in the courts. that is the last message i got from my governor. i could talk more about him when every like. not right now. a union activists from san antonio says the negro today needs justice. we have mexican-americans waiting and the nation itself is
at stake. ofgives a speech on behalf the political cessation of spanish-speaking people. it was the most militant of the mexican-american organizations and state. i'll talk but then a second. this march was the tip of the much larger iceberg. the 1930's, african-american, mexican-american, and white labor activist came together to fight for democracy. separate local organizing efforts in the union halls and storefronts gradually gave way to local experiments and multiracial collaboration. , and they-1960's created a formal egalitarian statewide election. they had the multiracial statewide agenda. they call their partnership the democratic coalition. we hear a story about how otherwise groups of activists
organize their separate basis. then, across the color line. building bridges between cultures and became the rid of weapon in getting jim crow. and in transforming electoral colleges in texas. begins with the famous strike in san antonio in 1938. it is a well-known tale. i am sure that many of you are familiar. it features the heroic organizing. the role of her come's husband, their treatment on the mexican question that became inspirational when it came together in southern california. historians often depict the strike as a victory. one in once they lost their jobs automation. the stories are true. they are important. i use the moshe racial -- the multiracial lens.
particularly in the barrios, and also on the african american east. i see the political activity of the unions. the section of black activists, organized by the naacp. we talked about how this isiance vote learning math into office as the first elected mayor of the city. although the coalition was short-lived, adult permanent low to the premises of power. looking at this moment from the multiracial lens renders it different. by connecting it to politics and to the larger world, a new scope of activism becomes visible. this multiracial perspective also allows for new continuity. the leader of the cities it militant african-american faction pictured here on the left, tj sutton, and activist on the east side, he carries it these experience of the
straightforward. in 1948, he formed a tactical alliance with the mexican-american attorney general. and both men were elected to serve on local school. they're both representing their communities in a president and ways. soon after, the manteno -- middle, organized the loyal american democrats. it had a somewhat unorthodox name. its true purpose as an insurgent was as a civil rights organization. succeeded in giving a speech in osi barrio. effectively announcing the presence of the faction. a new force and local and state politics. he talked about the relationship with dj sutton, who left the elected post in 1952 to continue to serve as a key organizer of the coming decades. together, with-
sutton's east side precinct organization help to elect henry gonzales to city council. the story that race resulted three years later pena won a county commission, a commission he used to distribute services to his district. and he was the militant voice for san antonio's many marginalized group for the next decade and a half at least. pena reached out to angelo leader and here you see him with john f. kennedy when stevenson came to stump in 1956. pena became the lead organizer it's. viva kennedy in sutton became the leader of the african-american wing in the state. they earned this position by
electoral mobilization and by building coalition that crosss the color line. when pena received the offer for viva kennedy he demanded and received a phone call from bobby kennedy who promised pena complete control over the mexican-american wing. he promised pena from the conservative and white-led democratic party and they . omised him patron adge sutton was the first african-american to represent the state and from that region when he went to the national convention in 1960 in l.a. and in the end, both pena and sutton both delivered the votes that they promised. they carried the kennedy-johnson ticket to victory. the latter emerges as the sleeping giant, right, from texas and national politics.
more immediately, the viva kennedy club transitioned into a permanent organization. here in california they had mafa. and in texas there was pasos. so mexican-americans in this period were looking to collect the spoils of victory throwing their weight around in parties -- the democratic party's own faction nal dispute. remember the context here in the 1960's texas is still part of the solid south, right? it's a one-party state dominated by a racist conservative democratic party. and the primary election in the all-important place which in which politicings gets elected, they were liberals and the dixie-crats that still included the governor price daniel. as it turned out as the decade
wore on the kennedy administration did not deliver to paso or to african-american for that matter. the organization grappled with its future. how do we continue to advocate and move forward? in the end split apart over class, ideological, strategic and other conflicts. the group endorsed daniel for governor. that prompted a walkout of the organization's liberal members, right? which included many sort of liberals like pena and also many chicano laborers that were part of the organization. the first successful chicano revolt happened in crystal city, gain, split paso in two as the moderates bolted in the leadership's alliance with the teamsters. it's weird to think about the
teamsters but in texas they were a force for progress. while most historians have enter -- interpreted this way, we see paso split advancing the efforts of people like pena and other labor liberal activists who wanted to group to build beyond la razza. pena wanted to deepen his relationship with sutton and laborers. it could work across texas as well, pena would argue. the split in way represented opportunities free from his conservative co-ethnics pena did just that. ultimately it built the statewide coalition. this cartoon reflect this is philosophy that's from the liberal labor wing of the organization. you can see labor cutting the
ties. they're binding down mexican american voting powers. so this wing of the group wanted -- wanted texas to -- i'm sorry wanted paso to become that much more liberal, that much more committed to civil rights that much more pro labor in order to prosper in the conservative coalition of texas this coalition came together and was on the march. some 300 representatives came together and laid out an civil s agenda for rights, economic issues. they demanded complete and immediate changes. they coordinated a series of massive voter redge station and get out the vote effort that forever trance forms urban politics. unprecedented numbers in the african americans and mexican
american community. the labor threw itself completely into the black and brown civil rights movement. they supported demonstrations, marches on the ground and they participated. they demanded that the governor call a special session to address civil rights. they got into it as well. i don't have time to go into all these activities and its eventual disintegration. the block be available in august available at a bookstore near you. but the facthat these groups with established across the color line remained robust into the 1970's. these were from the marcha. and this story, again, looks rather different through this multiracial lens. this photo on the right shows beachy bonner probably the
state's most recognizable leader . bonner had just led a group of african-american youth on a march from huntsville in east texas that was several hundred miles of its own and would time it to meet the mexican american farm workers when they would meet on labor day. you can see another photograph amid the usw eagle and for the naacp. rolinaa app -- they came together to demand labor rights and civil rights. the story of the coalition helps us to rethink some of the important relations both historically and in the present moment. scholarship, punditry tend to fall down in one of these two carps, right, corporation or conflict. but i join a group of scholars
who mark call as vast space between. african americans and mexican americans were not natural allies or enemies. they were simply different. they practiced different religions sometimes spoke different languages. all sorts of different lines of different. in fact, they were so desperate that just getting them together for a meeting represented a monumental task. where do you hold such meeting in the segregated south? these activists understood that successful coalition depended upon them recognizing these differences. they would agree they would not always agree or get along. they understood what bernice later called the house and the coalition. the coalition is a place where you come together and work together even though you disagree. and in the democratic coalition of texas in the 1960's each of the groups remain separate.
they each kept their own houses, their own feeders but they still worked together for a common cause. that's why i have this funnel diagram as the best representation rather than say a pyramid. it was a an acted contingent process or as one member of the coalition process called it coalitioning. coalitions came together and fell apart and had to be reorganized. they existed in the creative tension of groups that had great differences as well. despite these obstacles there are many that are coming together. in texas, there are often several competing multiracial coalitions given at any time. the one that i focused on today isa more conservative coalition who worked with white elites. particularly in the late 1960's a more radical black coalition to the left of the liberals some of for all of these activists the use of multiracial coalitions proved critical.
for the liberals it was the key tool of civil rights and some semblance of democracy in the incomplete r that that process has been. like carlos i'm talking more about the previous group or even lori, the mexican american generation rather than strictly the chicano youth move! . history invites to think about how the lines are somewhat fuzzier than we commonly assume. it is class, idology, tactic, ender and a whole of other differences continually divided both age cohorts. they split apart because of all of these reasons. the more militant and labor and mexicano activists used them it
opened up new opportunities. the politicings of albert pena m wayerageo medrano in my thace paralleled with the chicanos. they were proudly ethnic. they were eager to organize the barrios as nonwhite minorities. and they were willing to build coalitions with african-americans as well as white labor activists. they represented the central debates nong so-called mexican american generation that age alone did not prefigure these older activists. the pena faction was more militant, less white and more expansive in their visit than the caricature that is commonly described of their era. mario's original formulation was much broader than that. we see that. i want to take us back to that and extend the cronology of the extended movement backwards.
the continuities between the mexican american period and the chicano youth period. the storytells us a great about the roots of the chicano movement. where does that politics come from? it turns out that they were the mentors of the chicano youth. they were directly involved in the later movement. they handed down this politics to the so-called young turks. and participated themselves as the next wave of upheaval got under way. so thank you again for having me. it's been wonderful to share this with you. i look forward to talking with you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> i am a history buff. i do enjoy seeing the fabric of our country and how things just how they work and how they're made. >> i love american history tv. presidency, american artifacts. they're fact shows. >> i had no idea they did
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youth program talk about their experiences in the week long government and leadership program. the students met with members of the executive, judicial and elective branches of government plus military and media representatives. >> mr. jonathan capehart dime talk to us. i really love the insight he gave us about being the outside source. you know, reporting back to us and the electorate about what's going on in our government. ruth bader begins sburg the most inspirational person we met this week. she's been one of my idols for a long time. i either want to be in the legal profession or possibly a senator. >> i understand the need for bipartisan at times. but i also think it's important that politicians go to washington or go to their state capitals with their eyes on a goal and they're determined to meet that goal instead of sacrificing it in the light of money or bipartisan or whatever it is. are -- we need to get back to
representing all americans no matter what their backgrounds and to making this country a more respectful place where people are welcomed to give their opinions. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q&a." >> up next, on american history tv, author joan quigl, ye discusses mary church material who worked on behalf of african americans and women. we'll hear about a u.s. supreme court case that was a catalyst for desegregated washington, d.c. s. quigley is the author "just another town." it's an hour and a half. >> it's a great pleasure to introduce joan quigley. she is both an attorney and a