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Mexican American Migrations and Communities: A New Library of Congress Primary Source Set

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El Democrata Fronterizo of Laredo, Texas, December 1, 1917

Fierce newspaper and pamphlet debates in Spanish and English.

Sewing handbooks designed to advance “Americanization”.

Tales of divided sympathies during the Civil War and patriotic service in World War II.

Each of these historical artifacts is a part of the history of Mexican American communities in the 19th and 20th centuries. And each one can be found in the new Library of Congress primary source set, Mexican American Migrations and Communities.

This teacher resource showcases a wide variety of primary sources from over 200 years, providing students with a chance to explore many of the political and cultural developments that marked Mexican American life in that period. They also give teachers an opportunity to begin discussion of gaps in the historical record, and to look at the possible causes of those gaps.

This set is an especially good match for Common Core teachers, who will find informational texts in multiple formats, from newspapers and pamphlets to maps and oral histories, along with ripe opportunities to explore point of view and persuasive strategies.

Movie theater in San Antonio, Texas, 1939

There is no single Mexican American story, but rather multiple ones that primary sources can illuminate like nothing else can. We hope you’ll let us know if you have any favorites in this set, and tell us how you plan to use them in your own classroom.


Comments (2)

  1. Thank you so much for this! It troubles me every time I hear some Anglo (I am an Anglo for sure!) spouts some ignorance about this great people. They have and will most likely continue to contribute enormously to the USA.

  2. Historically speaking, Mexican community has positively contributed to American economy and has beautified diversity in the southwestern and western parts of the country. However, much more need to be done in terms of integration.

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