SOURCES.—Alvarez 1986; Klarman 2004; Kluger 2004; Powers and Patton 2008; Powers 2008. See also lessons/brown-v-board/timeline.htmlaWhile records forAlvarezandDelgadoare not available in legal databases (e.g., Lexis-Nexis), I include them here because both are widely citedin histories of Mexican American school segregation.This content downloaded from 137.110.192.006 on September 17, 2016 12:40:13 PMAll use subject to University of Chicago Press Terms and Conditions ().
Legal Campaigns against School Segregation38American Journal of Educationtwentieth century, state supreme courts ruled that extralegal school segregationwas unconstitutional but uniformly upheld de jure segregation (Peterson 1935).The term “extralegal” also underscores how school district officials used theirauthority as officers of the state to enforce segregation policies within theirdistricts.The differences between de jure and extralegal segregation highlight thedynamics of racialization. In the first half of the twentieth century, MexicanAmericans and blacks occupied different positions in relation to whites andeach other in the macro racial order in the Southwest (Go´mez 2012; Behnken2011a), which complicates what Omi (2001) and others have described as theblack-white paradigm of race (e.g., Donato and Hanson 2012; see also Brilliant2010). More specifically, Mexican Americans in the Southwest had formalracial equality yet often did not experience substantive racial equality. Therewere stark differences in the experiences and opportunities of Mexican Amer-icans and Anglos (Donato and Hanson 2012; Foley 1998; Gross 2007; Sher-idan 2003). As Mexican immigration to the Southwest expanded, so too didextralegal segregation practices within local communities. Extralegal segre-gation denoted racial inferiority yet was a less elaborated mode of exclusionthan the de jure segregation experienced by blacks.Fox and Guglielmo (2012) characterized the latter as a bright boundarywhereas the racial boundary that separated Mexican Americans from whiteswas bright and blurred. A blurred boundary is “less recognized, less institu-tionalized, and not as closely correlated with life chances and social distance”(331) as a bright boundary. In some locales, school officials attempted toexclude black students from public schools or sent them to segregated schoolsin other districts rather than provide separate facilities (see, e.g., Smith, n.d.).Most accounts suggest that Mexican American students were allowed to attendthe public schools in their communities, but the majority were often segregatedin separate and inferior schools or classrooms (Donato 2003; Foley 2010;Powers 2008). In some districts, a small percentage of Mexican Americanstudents attended the schools for “white American students” (Brilliant 2010,68). Many Mexican American students dropped out of school by high school.