The University of Houston’s US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH) announces the release of “Documenting Discrimination: Alonso S. Perales Correspondence (1927-1952).” This digital collection compiles letters written to and by Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960), a Mexican-American lawyer, diplomat, civil rights activist and co-founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Perales, in his mission for social justice, encouraged the Latino community to submit their experiences of discrimination at public establishments. Community members signed affidavits and wrote letters to Perales that detailed racism faced at restaurants, theaters, schools, bars, dance halls, clinics and many other places. They also wrote about the prejudice encountered while seeking employment or purchasing homes. Perales later published many of these letters and affidavits in his book, Are We Good Neighbors? (1948).
Two undergraduates contributed to this collection: Cynthia Díaz, a Leadership Rice Mentorship Experience (LRME) summer intern at Rice University and Cruz E. Almonaci, a USLDH-LULAC Council 60 intern at the University of Houston. Díaz and Almonaci gained skills in academic research, archival methods, metadata creation and digital humanities.
This digital collection is supported by US Latino Digital Humanities Center (USLDH)/Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program. The USLDH Center is a first-of-its-kind center that gives scholars expanded access to a vast collection of written materials produced by Latinas and Latinos and archived by the Recovery program and UH’s Arte Público Press, the nation’s largest publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by Hispanic authors from the United States. USLDH also produces digital scholarship in the form of visualizations, datasets, digital collections and exhibits. The Center is supported by a grant from the Mellon Foundation.
“Documenting Discrimination: Alonso S. Perales Correspondence (1927-1952)” compliments various USLDH digital projects, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage databases, and Arte Público Press books. The entire Alonso S. Perales Collection is housed at the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections.
Browse “Documenting Discrimination: Alonso S. Perales Correspondence (1927-1952)” at the Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections site: https://usldhrecovery.uh.edu/collections/show/33
USLDH digital projects
EBSCO: Arte Público Hispanic Historical Collection: Series 2
Arte Público Books
Olivas, Michael A. In Defense of My People : Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals. Arte Público Press, 2012.
Orozco, Cynthia E. Pioneer of Mexican-American Civil Rights: Alonso S. Perales. Arte Público Press, 2022.
Perales, Alonso S. In Defense of My People. Translated by Emilio Zamora, Arte Público Press, 2021.