Fronteras | Texas Public Radio


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"Fronteras" is a Texas Public Radio program exploring the changing culture and demographics of the American Southwest. From Texas to New Mexico and California, "Fronteras" provides insight into life along the U.S.- Mexico border. Our stories examine unique regional issues affecting lifestyle, politics, economics and the environment.

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In 1938, 10,000 pecan shellers in San Antonio went on strike. These were not your typical blue-collar workers. They were women; they were children; they were the elderly; and they were poor. But primarily, they were Mexican. On this episode of Fronteras, we talk to filmmaker Anne Lewis about her new documentary, “A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas)”  (0:16).

Then, TPR’s David Martin Davies tells us about the “secret history" of San Antonio (12:34).

Image from the Institute of Texan Cultures.

Filmmaker Anne Lewis creates films that focus on social action, human rights, and environmental justice. Her new documentary, “A Strike and an Uprising (in Texas),” covers two monumental worker uprisings in the Lone Star State: the 1938 Pecan Shellers strike, and a 1987 march by Stephen F. Austin University employees in Nacogdoches.

Norma Martinez / Texas Public Radio

Reyna grande means “grand queen” in English. But author and memoirist Reyna Grande hasn’t always felt like she’s gotten the royal treatment as an immigrant. She joins us to discuss her memoir “A Dream Called Home” (0:18). Then, we bring you a story about a West Side San Antonio housing project, highlighting the history of the Alazán-Apache Courts (15:11).

Alazán-Apache Courts was the first public housing project in San Antonio. It was built in 1941, after San Antonio priest Carmelo Tranchese lobbied Eleanor Roosevelt to create affordable housing in San Antonio’s impoverished, mostly Mexican-American West Side. 

A new exhibit “Los Courts” highlights the residents and culture that grew out of the projects.  

Josh Huskin

Azul Barrientos is a singer and musician who is keeping Mexican musical traditions alive. Born in Mexico City, she makes her home in San Antonio, where she is an artist in residence at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, a grassroots arts and cultural organization located on San Antonio’s predominantly Hispanic West Side.