Carolina Apodaca-Morales and Dr. José Alamillo
My research examines the history of racial discrimination against ethnic Mexican communities in Ventura County from the 1920s to 1970s. Although scholars have written about the history of racial discrimination and violence against African Americans in the South and ethnic Mexicans in Texas, very few have focused on ethnic Mexicans in California. My paper seeks to fill this gap by examining Ventura County’s history of white supremacy and how white supremacists sought to keep ethnic Mexicans “in their place”—as cheap labor and undereducated students. My research topic builds upon the work of scholars such as Frank Barajas, Martha Menchaca and David G. Garcia who have been written about Ventura County’s Chicano history. I will be using historical newspapers sources such as the Oxnard Press Courier and the Ventura County Free Press to provide evidence that white supremacists sought to instill fear upon the ethnic Mexican community. My findings will show that Ventura County’s Ku Klux Klan (KKK) chapter actively targeted, threatened and harassed the ethnic Mexican population as well as increased racial tension in the county. Overall, these findings will provide insight into long history of white supremacy in Ventura County and will add to the historiography of racial violence on ethnic Mexicans in California.
Session 1 – 1:30p.m. – 2:45p.m.
Room B – Sierra 1422