“It began when the Lemon Grove school board attempted to build segregated schools for children of Hispanic origin,” said John Valdez, professor of Chicano Studies at Palomar College. “The working class members of the Mexican-American community didn’t stand for it. They began a boycott of the school and then filed suit against the school board.”
The case, which would become the nation’s first successful desegregation court case in the nation, is called the Roberto Alvarez vs. Board of Trustees of Lemon Grove School District.
“The Lemon Grove incident era changed United States history and the lives of millions,” said Branch Manager Amparo Madera. “The library is the perfect place to honor the pioneers and activists who fought for civil rights and equality as the public library represents the freedom to learn.”
Lemon Grove Councilmember Howard Cook and Library Director José Aponte presented special recognition awards to the Lemon Grove residents who were pioneers and activists for equality during the Lemon Grove incident.
(Slideshow photos by Cristina Lynn Ericksen)
The celebration included music by classical guitar and solo performer José Rodriguez and the conclusion of Héctor Ericksen-Mendoza’s Hispanic Heritage Month photography exhibit.
Read more about the Lemon Grove incident of 1931 at www.lemongrovehistoryproject.info and view the photos from the exhibit at http://hectorericksen.photoshelter.com
(Photo by Cristina Lynn Ericksen)