Author Examines Latino Civil Rights at CMAS Lecture

Dr. David Montejano

Award-winning author and educator Dr. David Montejano (University of California-Berkley) will offer his thoughts on Latino political movements April 21 at the Center for Mexican American Studies’ 2011 Distinguished Lecture.

The lecture will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Chemistry and Physics Building, Room 303, located on the UT Arlington campus at 700 Planetarium Place.

Dr. Susan Gonzalez Baker, director of the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS), said she is excited about Montejano’s visit.

“David Montejano’s work has become the gold standard in Mexican American Studies because he gets the social history of the Mexican-American presence in Texas right – centuries-worth of it right,” she said.

Montejano will lecture from his current book, “Quixote’s Soldiers: A Local History of the Chicano Movement, 1966-1981,” a look at the making and undoing of the Mexican-American civil rights movement. Published last year, the book has already won the Texas Historical Society’s T.R. Fehrenbach Award and the National Association of Chicano/a Studies Book of the Year Award.

“David has a rare ability to combine ‘page-turner’ readability with the highest standards of academic scholarship,” said Gonzalez Baker. “It’s a rare gift in this profession.”

Montejano’s first book, “Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836-1986,” won several major prizes, including the Frederick Jackson Turner Prize in 1988. The book is now in its 11th printing and has been designated a “Texas classic” by the University of Texas Press.

Gonzalez Baker said Montejano’s visit is timely as the Latino population continues to grow at UT Arlington and the surrounding communities in North Texas.

“We are in the midst of a campus and region that are only going to become more Latino-populated in the coming decades,” she said. “Even when the region was sparsely populated by either group, race relations emerged that rippled through the decades, and now the centuries. [Montejano is] right about the fact that the major Mexican-American civil rights movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s was both a smashing success and a cautionary tale in the general story of social movement politics. I think students, faculty, and staff … will all come away from this lecture enriched with new information and new questions to ponder and to share about [how] we adapt to the important challenges ahead.”

For more information about this lecture event, contact Alma Rick in the CMAS office at (817) 272-2933. For information about the visiting speaker, visit his website.

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