By Thomas H. Kreneck
Felix Tijerina was once born in 1905 in Mexico, even if he publicly claimed to were born in Texas. He labored his method from busboy and waiter to proprietor of a ecocnomic, famous chain of Mexican eating places. the tale of his monetary luck parallels that of different self-made American enterprise leaders. yet his contribution didn't finish there. He used to be an energetic chief of neighborhood, country, and nationwide Mexican American organisations, and in these teams he labored to improve the Hispanic group and advertise social concord. additionally, Kreneck demonstrates how Tijerina’s lifestyles and efforts symbolized the historical past of a those who, by the point Tijerina died within the mid-1960s, have been not numerically inundated and ineffectual.
Emerging as a pace-setter in such mainstream teams and forums as Rotary overseas and the Houston Housing Authority, Tijerina was once a pioneer in Mexican American interplay with Anglos. He was once quite famous for his efforts on behalf of Mexican American schooling. whereas serving an unparalleled 4 phrases as nationwide president of LULAC, from 1956 to 1960, he introduced an the world over acclaimed academic initiative referred to as the Little university of the four hundred, to educate English to preschool Spanish-speaking children.
Through Tijerina’s lifestyles, Kreneck illustrates the complex family among Anglos and Mexican american citizens throughout the early and center years of the century. He identifies either prejudice and chance in Tijerina’s setting and analyzes the characteristics that allowed the fellow to flourish inside of these situations. He additionally indicates how Tijerina and his colleagues answered to the black civil rights circulate that swept the South within the later years of his lifestyles, marking the complicated psycho-cultural stability his new release frequently attempted to strike.
Mexican American Odyssey therefore portrays an important person and areas him inside a bigger context that's purely now being studied via students, and the impression of that is now being felt in society at large.
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Extra info for Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader 1905-1965
60 Exactly when Tijerina had this job or how long he stayed is unclear. By all accounts, he worked there for only a brief period. Though slender and no more than ﬁve feet, four inches in height, Tijerina was a strong, good worker. But reportedly, the manual labor he did for Frucht seriously chafed his hands, and he realized that he would have to change his situation. He did not, however, walk away from this employment empty-handed. The job allowed him to meet and observe Houstonians. He became lifelong friends with his boss, Sig Frucht, who was probably the ﬁrst Houston entrepreneur and promoter that Tijerina met in a city ﬁlled with such individuals.
Individuals with ethnic names like Desel, Boettcher, Dissen, Schoenmann, Schneider, Japhet, Kuhn, La Rocca, Levy, Liebermann, Meyers, and Morales owned the other wholesale houses on Commerce. Produce Row provided a spectrum of business people, middle-class Houstonians, and laborers. 62 32 mexican american odyssey Produce Row also brought Tijerina into contact with young men of Houston’s Mexican community who would soon form his circle of close friends. William Aguilar, two years his junior, was on a break from his own job as a clerk in a downtown hardware store when he and Tijerina ﬁrst met.
The cafes and places of entertainment were off limits, and there was always a fear of violence at the hands of local white residents or law enforcement ofﬁcers. 42 In this general atmosphere, Aurelio and his family found it advantageous to remain at home in obscurity amid the company of other Mexican people. On the land, they turned to one another for cultural survival. Aurelio and his sons had brought more than their strong backs to Texas. Like Librado before them, they were good musicians with the accordion, violin, and guitar.
Mexican American Odyssey: Felix Tijerina, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader 1905-1965 by Thomas H. Kreneck