Sociology Faculty Publications and Presentations

Hernandez v. Texas: The Fight for Mexican American Rights

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2016


The fight for civil rights in the South has a history of conflict and racialization based on the idea that minorities were not allowed equal protection of the law. Legal scholars have found that Mexican Americans and Latinos have had to walk the razor’s edge of racialization in which they did not fit the categories of White or Black. They have had to fight to secure their own voice and agency. In 1954, the case of Hernandez v. Texas framed the situation of racial pressures in the South in terms of other minorities serving on court juries. The literature provides an analysis to aid minorities who have lived in the context of oppression, though there are still racially based issues. Many people are not aware of the case of Hernandez v. Texas, which brought about changes to the segregated South prior to the landmark case of Brown v. Board of Education. 1 This paper uses a Critical Race perspective using the intersections of race, law, and power to demonstrate how fighting for one’s rights created social change for Mexican Americans and allowed them to gain access to equality measures in Texas.

Publication Title

Ibid. A Student History Journal