State-sanctioned racial violence on the Mexico-Texas border against Mexican Americans from 1910 through 1920 was some of the worst violence ever perpetrated in this country. It prompted a struggle for justice and civil rights. Life and Death on the Border 1910-1920 re-examines the events and context through a display of rare artifacts, photographic records, court documents, newspapers, family histories, and eye witness accounts, this poignant exhibition will provide a fresh perspective on a little-known story that shaped the Mexican American civil rights movement and continues to have lasting impact today.
On view at the museum: 01/23/2016 – 04/03/2016 Visit museum
John Morán González from UT’s Department of English and Center for Mexican American Studies curated the exhibit: “The exhibit is called “Life on the Border, 1910-1920” and the purpose is to raise the public’s awareness of this incident and the major role it’s had in shaping Mexican American life in Texas. The role of the state in perpetrating this violence is something that we as a group have wanted specifically to highlight with this project with the goal of making connections with questions of policing communities of color, which are obviously relevant today.
Host: Joan Neuberger, Professor, Department of History
Guest: John Moran Gonzalez, Associate Professor, Department of English
In the early part of the 20th century, Texas became more integrated into the United States with the arrival of the railroad. With easier connections to the country, its population began to shift away from reflecting its origins as a breakaway part of Mexico toward a more Anglo demographic, one less inclined to adapt to existing Texican culture and more inclined to view it through a lens of white racial superiority. Between 1915 and 1920, an undeclared war broke out that featured some of the worst racial violence in American history; an outbreak that’s become known as the Borderlands War.
Guest John Moran Gonzales from UT’s Department of English and Center for Mexican American Studies has curated an exhibition on the Borderlands War called “Life and Death on the Border, 1910-1920,” and tells us about this little known episode in Mexican-American history.