“Are We Good Neighbors?”

The “Are We Good Neighbors?” project was derived off of Alonso S. Perales Collection at the University of Houston’s Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage. The goal of this project is to display the discrimination against Mexican Americans in 1940s Texas by using personal stories and a map to point out geographically where these events of inequity took place. “Perales was very dedicated to civil rights for Mexican Americans and urged people to publicly share experiences of racism as well as the names and addresses of businesses where they were refused service” (Gauthereau). This mapping project aims to reveal the embodiment of racism in the United States to those who don’t realize that racism happens when citizens are playing out their accounts of everyday life activities: such as going to the barbershop, buying a home, or riding the bus to school. This Digital Humanities project is deeply important to me because even though I am not a Mexican American, I always wondered what happened to the Latinx population in times of segregation and times of intense racist climates. I feel a personal history there and I feel as though the Latinx history in the United States wasn’t made a priority to learn about in schools. Mexican Americans in the 1940s faced disgust, hatred, shame, and violence solely due to their hertigatege. This type of information is valuable for all audiences, but it possibly may have a greater effect on the Latinx population that isn’t fully aware of the type of discrimination that took place in the South towards the Mexican American population. Information is separated by the home page, describing the purpose of this project, and by each individual’s/family’s story. The technology plays an important role being lined up with each story because the map allows viewers to see where the map moves in correspondence to the text. The map is interactive, so users are able to zoom in on specific parts of Texas, and other states too. It is necessary to have projects like “Are We Good Neighbors?” because it highlights Latinx racism in the United States regarding personal historic accounts. The focus isn’t on the statistics of racist acts/events, but on the accounts that happen in our own neighborhoods with your average United States citizens.

Gauthereau, Lorena. “Are We Good Neighbors?: Mapping Discrimination Against Mexican Americans in 1940s Texas.” https://arcg.is/1C1bbv. Accessed [10-10-2019].


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