Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

Book – Non-fiction. By Duncan Tonatiuh. 2014. 40 pages.
Upper elementary school picture-book about the Mendez v. Westminster case to desegregate California schools.

  • Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960, 20th Century | Themes: Education, Latino | Reading Levels: Grades 3-5, Grades Pre-K-2 | Resource Types: Picture Books

separateisneverequal9781419710544Although written and illustrated for upper elementary school, even adults will learn a lot about the Mendez v. Westminster desegregation case in California that preceded Brown v. Board.

Author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of how Mexican-born Gonzalo Mendez and Puerto Rican Felicitas Mendez challenged the separate and unequal school system in California. They moved to Westminster during WWII and their children were sent to a run-down school for Mexican American children. The book highlights the role of Mendez as an organizer—galvanizing other parents and legal support to pursue an equal education for all children. The illustrations are in Tonatiuh’s distinctive, folkloric style. [Description by Rethinking Schools.]

ISBN: 9781419710544 | Published by Abram Books for Young Readers.

 

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