Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2012 Issue »

    “A Few of the Brightest, Cleanest Mexican Children”

    School Segregation as a Form of Mundane Racism in Oxnard, California, 1900–1940

    David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas
    In this article, David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas examine the early twentieth-century origins of a dual schooling system that facilitated the reproduction of a cheap labor force and the marginalization of Mexicans in Oxnard, California. In their analysis of the 1930s Oxnard Elementary School District board minutes, alongside newspapers, maps, scholarly accounts, and oral history interviews, they argue that school segregation privileged Whites and discriminated against Mexicans as a form of mundane racism. The authors build on previous scholarship documenting the pervasiveness of racism in U.S. society to define mundane racism as the systematic subordination of Mexicans that occurred as a commonplace, ordinary way of conducting business within and beyond schools. Their findings complicate narratives that emphasize complete segregation in “Mexican schools,” while acknowledging the resistance of parents and the resilience of their children.

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    David G. García is an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. His teaching and research examine the interconnectivity of history and education, focusing on local educational histories of Mexican Americans, the pedagogy of Hollywood’s urban school genre, and Chicana/o teatro (theater) as public revisionist history. García’s research appears in books and journals such as Qualitative Inquiry, Handbook of Latinos and Education, and Radical History Review.

    Tara J. Yosso is an associate professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her teaching and research apply the frameworks of critical race theory and critical media literacy to examine educational access and equity, emphasizing the community cultural wealth Students of Color bring to school. Her book Critical Race Counterstories Along the Chicana/Chicano Educational Pipeline (Routledge, 2006) was selected by the American Educational Studies Association for the 2008 Critics’ Choice Book Award. She is also the author of numerous chapters and articles in publications such as Race Ethnicity and Education, Review of Research in Education, and Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.

    Frank P. Barajas is an associate professor of history at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), where he is also an affiliated faculty member of the Chicana/o Studies Program. Prior to joining CSUCI in 2001, Barajas taught nine years at Cypress (Community) College in Orange County, California. Barajas’s scholarship focuses on the history of Mexican Americans in southern California, and he is the author of Curious Unions: Mexican American Workers and Resistance in Oxnard, California, 1898–1961 (University of Nebraska Press, forthcoming).
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    Spring 2012 Issue


    “A Few of the Brightest, Cleanest Mexican Children”
    School Segregation as a Form of Mundane Racism in Oxnard, California, 1900–1940
    David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas
    Changing Our Landscape of Inquiry for a New Science of Education
    Gary Thomas
    Institutional Racist Melancholia
    A Structural Understanding of Grief and Power in Schooling
    Sabina Vaught
    Symposium: By What Measure?
    Mapping and Expanding the Teacher Effectiveness Debate
    Contextual Influences on Inquiries into Effective Teaching and Their Implications for Improving Student Learning
    Anthony Bryk, Heather Harding, and Sharon Greenberg
    Having It Both Ways
    Building the Capacity of Individual Teachers and Their Schools
    Susan Moore Johnson
    Refocusing the Debate
    Assessing the Purposes and Tools of Teacher Evaluation
    John Papay
    A Collaborative Effort
    Peer Review and the History of Teacher Evaluations in Montgomery County, Maryland
    Jeremy P. Sullivan
    “We Are the Ones in the Classrooms—Ask Us!”
    Student Voice in Teacher Evaluations
    Boston Student Advisory Council

    Book Notes

    Our Difficult Sunlight
    Georgia A. Popoff and Quraysh Ali Lansana

    Call 1-800-513-0763 to order this issue.