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Pioneering Civil Rights Work, New Archive of Texan Alonso S. Perales Subject of UH Conference

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January 6, 2012-Houston-

Scholars from across the country and Mexico will join Arte Público Press and its Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project for a daylong conference on a pioneer in Mexican-American civil rights, Alonso S. Perales. 

“In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of the Mexican-American Public Intellectuals, A Conference on the Civil Rights Leader and Co-Founder of LULAC, Alonso S. Perales” is planned for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 13 at the University of Houston’s Rockwell Pavilion. 

The event is free and open to the public with prior registration (call 713-743-3128, artrec@mail.uh.edu).  Breakfast and a light lunch will be provided.  A reception will follow the conference. 

A law school graduate in 1926, Perales was among the most influential organizational figures and public intellectuals in the early 20th century. A diplomat and pioneer in Mexican-American civil rights, Perales saw himself as a defender of the race, as documented in his two-volume seminal work, “En defensa de mi raza” (“In Defense of My People”).  A prolific writer, he wrote about civil rights, religion, politics and racial discrimination. Perales was one of the founders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929 in San Antonio. 

The UH conference will feature discussions on the moral construction of citizenship, Mexican American civil rights, the establishment of LULAC, and segregation and the Catholic Church.  To view the complete list of speakers, visit http://www.latinoteca.com/recovery/grants-conferences/conferences/conference-on-texas-lawyer-alonso-perales-1898-1960.

Perales’ family donated his archive to Arte Público Press and its Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project. Conference participants will have that resource at their disposal for their continued research.  The collection includes documents from Perales’ life and work, correspondence, LULAC papers and publications, along with rare manuscripts and photographs. 

To view images from the collection, visit http://digital.lib.uh.edu/cdm4/about_collection.php?CISOROOT=/perales

To listen to a UH Moment on the Perales collection, visit http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1323985328-UH-Moment-Perales-Papers.html

WHAT: “In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of the Mexican-American Public Intellectuals, A Conference on the Civil Rights Leader and Co-Founder of LULAC, Alonso S. Perales”

WHEN: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Friday, Jan. 13

WHERE:  University of Houston M.D. Anderson Library, Rockwell Pavilion 2nd floor

Categories: Events