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Fronteras: Oral histories highlight the untold struggles for social justice in Black and Brown communities across Texas

Texas history has often left out the diverse voices of those involved in civil rights movements.

Some of those movements include marches and riots, like the march for justice in the death of Santos Rodriguez or the Uvalde school walkout in the 1970s.

Researchers with the Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project traveled across the state to gather overlooked experiences in communities of color.

The broad collection of interviews are explored in the book Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas.

Max Krochmal, a professor of history at the University of New Orleans, and Todd Moye, professor of history and director of the Oral History Program at the University of North Texas, co-edited the book.

Krochmal said historical archives bend towards well-resourced individuals — usually white men.

“There were a lot of stories out there about social movements in Texas about the Black and Latino civil rights struggles that hadn’t been recorded, hadn’t been documented at all,” he said. “It seemed like we had an urgent task to try and get these histories recorded while we could.”

Sandra Enríquez, an associate professor of history at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a contributor to the oral history project and to the book.

She said communities of color found similar and creative ways to fight back against Jim Crow and the so-called Juan Crow in Texas.

“In revealing these stories and then revealing these moments and these structures that each community has to dismantle or is protesting against, we see commonalities,” she said.

View an overview of the Civil Rights in Black and Brown oral history project below:

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1