Teaching Mexican American History
Website Resources for the Classroom
An amendment by assistant professor Jaime R. Aguila at Arizona State University to the article, “Mexican American History Online,” in the Teaching Resources section of the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, October 2009, Vol. 23, Issue 4. The article is available to read under the Project Resources section.
The current political climate in the United States offers some stimulating advantages for teaching the history immigration, not only because it is a popular and controversial media topic, but more importantly because of its inherent correlation with every American's heritage regardless of whether they arrived in the United States yesterday, if their family has been here for multiple generations, or if they descend from the First Peoples. However, before proceeding a few words of caution: there is not one best pedagogical method and instructors should develop their own style that fosters a comfort zone for themselves while simultaneously empowering and motivating their students. Furthermore, specific schemes that work one semester might not have the same positive impact the following semester. Finally, technology is only a tool. It should not drive the lesson, but instead enhance design and delivery.
The following websites are updated links to the articles mentioned in the article, “Mexican American History Online.”
The following list was made by the Deer Valley school district grant. It has a very thorough list of websites
Websites for the Classroom
The Web is drawing a growing number if sites related to Mexican American History and the number of quality sites continues to grow.
Overviews and General Sites
The Borderlands Encyclopedia
- "A Digital Educational Resource on Contemporary United States-Mexico Border Issues." Offers topic guidance to sites under the categories of culture and media, economics and business, education and training, family life and population groups, government and politics, and health and environment. The value added here is the attention to multimedia materials.
- A companion to the PBS documentary. Includes an interactive timeline, a text timeline featuring important dates and events of the region, a morphing map showing how the border lines have changed throughout history, and a page of links to other sites with more information about the border.
The U.S. - Mexican War (1846-1848)
- This is the online companion resource for the documentary, "The U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848)." They note that "This web site is a thoughtful study in the way humans access, process, agree and disagree in the search for truth as it chronicles the war through multiple perspectives from both sides of the conflict. Within this site, you will find a series of conversations with and essays by historians and other experts. We also offer a timeline that illustrates war-related events and a discussion arena where we invite you to share your own viewpoints on the U.S.-Mexican War."
Defining the Southwest
- “Defining the Southwest” is an eclectic, multidisciplinary site, with contributions from University faculty in Southwest literature, folklore, anthropology, archaeology, architecture and linguistics. It attempts to “gather multiple visions of what the Southwest might entail.” The site includes links to historical maps, bibliographies, digital images, and student web projects.
The Chicana/Chicano Experience in Arizona
Maps of the Pimería: Early Cartography of the Southwest
- Historical Maps of the Southwest from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Will uses several maps from the collection in his class on the history of the American Southwest.
Index of Historic Maps and Aerial Views
The Online Archive of California
Los Angeles Public Library
- Search their Photo Collection for digitized images from the Library’s holdings of 2.5 million images. It is especially strong on images from the 1920s to the 1960s. This site is a great source for general images of the Chicano movement, with many images of local protests.
Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection
Today in History Archive
- This often overlooked page can be quite useful and often provides additional information on images from the Library of Congress. Search "Mexican American" for 365 pages and many images.
The South Texas Border, 1900-1920
- "The South Texas Border, 1900-1920 is a collection of over 8,000 photographs taken by Robert Runyon, many of which were sold as postcards, advertisements, portraits, and illustrations for American newspapers. These images comprise a multi-faceted documentation of the everyday lives of Anglo Americans and Mexican Americans in Southeastern Texas. They also document the agriculture of the region and U.S. military activity at the border during the early stages of the Mexican Revolution. Finally, the collection provides a unique record of the Mexican Revolution in Northeastern Mexico."
Historical Photograph Collection at the Arizona State Archives
Texts and Online Archives Arizona-Sonora Documents Online
- This site provides access to digital images of archival collections relating to Arizona and Sonora, Mexico that are located at three Arizona repositories: the University of Arizona Library Special Collections; the Arizona Historical Society-Tucson; and the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records. These documents primarily date to the 19th and 20th centuries, and deal with subjects such as ranching, mining, land grants, border issues, and government. Documents are in both Spanish and English.
Soza Family History: Antonio Campa Soza, 1845-1915
- The Soza family is considered "an excellent example of the presence of Mexican-Americans in the Tucson area for several generations," and they have contributed significantly "to Tucson's cultural and economic history." The Sozas "homesteaded in the Sonoran Desert, and later turned to the city." This family history is accompanied by a rich collection of photographs.
Colorado Plateau Digital Archives Search
- This web site, provided by the Special Collections and Archives Department of NAU's Cline Library, provides online access to a number of items in NAU's Special Collections, most notably historic photographs. This is a great resource for digital images of northern Arizona.
Audio and Art Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection
- “Hispano Music and Culture of the Northern Rio Grande: The Juan B. Rael Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting religious and secular music of Spanish-speaking residents of rural Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. In 1940, Juan Bautista Rael of Stanford University, a native of Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico, used disc recording equipment supplied by the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center) to document alabados (hymns), folk drama, wedding songs, and dance tunes. The recordings included in the Archive of Folk Culture collection were made in Alamosa, Manassa, and Antonito, Colorado, and in Cerro and Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico. In addition to these recordings, the collection includes manuscript materials and publications authored by Rael which provide insight into the rich musical heritage and cultural traditions of this region.”
- This oral history collection contains audio, transcripts, and images collected by the University of Texas at Arlington Center for Mexican American Studies, "presenting the personal recollections of 77 Tejanos and Tejanas and their struggle against racial discrimination in post-World War II Texas."
Music of the Southwest
The Roots of Tejano and Conjunto Music
La Cadena que no se Corta - the Unbroken Chain
- University of Arizona web exhibit that highlights the visual art that is created by members of Tucson's Mexican-American community as part of normal, everyday life. Includes images and video clips.
Hispanic American Women
La Chicana: A Celabratory Essay
U.S. Latino Patriots: From the American Revolution to Afghanistan, An Overview
- Refugio I. Rochin and Lionel Fernandez created this overview for the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The overview was designed to explore the feasibility of developing an exhibition at the Smithsonian to document the contributions of Hispanic Americans in military conflicts since the American Revolution where the U.S. has played an active role.
E-Company Marines Remembered
- Easy Company (E-Company), 13th Infantry Battalion, was the first Marine Corps Reserve unit from Tucson, Arizona to serve in Korea in 1950. Many members of the unit were Mexican American. The site treats the stories of E-Company as an important part of Tucson's history.
Voices from the Dust Bowl, 1940-1941
United Farm Workers
The Farmworker's Website
- This site offers a sympathetic look at farmworkers. Includes a section on Braceros. The site is available in English and Spanish.
The Fight in the Fields
- César Chávez and the Farmworkers' Struggle, a PBS Special for Labor Day. Includes biographical information, a timeline, and several nice images in these two sections.
Meet Amazing Americans: Activists and Reformers: Cesar Chavez
Salt of the Earth
Mexican American Communities, Barrios, and Southwestern Architecture Sonora, Arizona, 1907-1965
A Brief History of Hispanic Tempe
- Offers a brief overview of Tempe’s Hispanic heritage. Includes a link to the Barrios Oral History Project, a compilation 10 oral history interviews. Conducted 1992-1994, each interview has a brief bio and a full-text transcript of the interviews.
Tubac through Four Centuries
- This history of Tubac (by Henry F. Dobyns) is available online through the University of Arizona Library's Southwest E-Text Center. This contains a detailed history from pre-Spanish times through the Mexican period and the appendices include a timeline.
Barrio Historico Tucson
Albuquerque Museum Old Town Photo Archive
Architecture and Urbanism in the Southwest
Political Organizations. The Web contains several sites dedicated to Mexican American political organizations or information about them, including:
The Political Association of Spanish-Speaking Organizations.
Mexican American Political Association
Chicanos Por La Causa
League of United Latin American Citizens
National Council of La Raza
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