Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » What do you know about this landmark civil rights case?


I grew up in Topeka, Kan., but I don't recall learning much in public school about the landmark desegregation case of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. Only in college did I start to study the case in any depth.

And until Monday, I knew absolutely nothing about another landmark civil rights case, Hernandez vs. Texas, which originated down the road in Edna. We wrote Tuesday about a PBS documentary called "A World Apart." You may catch up on the documentary and the case through PBS' excellent Web site by clicking here.

I plan to research what the Victoria Advocate has written about the case in the past and consider what we might do on future anniversary dates. The 50th anniversary of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education in 2004 received national attention, but I don't recall any coverage of the Hernandez decision, also handed down in 1954 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I wasn't living here for the 50th anniversary, so perhaps longtime residents are more familiar with the case. I asked my daughter whether she recalled learning about the case during her 7th-grade Texas history class. She said no. Then again, perhaps she wasn't paying attention.

The case certainly would seem to be one that should be covered in a Texas history class. The PBS Web site has resources for teachers.

Perhaps Edna also might consider a way to physically commemorate the case, as the National Park Service did in 2004 by turning the old segregated Monroe School into a historic site. I'm not sure when I'll make it back to Topeka now that my immediate family has scattered across the country, but I'd like to visit this historic site.

How else should we remember the Mexican-American civil rights struggle? What story might the Advocate do on May 3, the 55th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision? Were you familiar with this case before?