The rich and often tragic history of Black and Latino Americans has long been ignored.
In Black Chronicle and La Cronica historians and educators use a newspaper format to tell of their contributions and struggles.

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Bracero Program; "Operation Wetback" 
1954, Issue 8

In World War II, Mexican Americans won 17 Congressional Medals of Honor, making them the most decorated ethnic group in combat. At home, the Bracero Program, established in 1942, brought Mexican nationals across the border to work on farms and ranches. But racism continued at home, highlighted by such incidents as the “Sleepy Lagoon Case,” with trumped-up murder charges against barrio youths, and the “Zoot Suit Riots,” with violent attacks by Anglo servicemen on Mexican American youths. After the war, continued prejudice led to the formation of civil rights organizations, including the G.I. Forum and the Community Service Organization (CSO). Increased awareness also led to the election of activists like Ed Roybal, Dennis Chavez and Henry Gonzalez to political office. Although the use of braceros was continued after the war, illegal immigrants, called “wetbacks,” were often hired with minimal protections. “Operation Wetback” was a deportation program that often resulted in the violations of civil rights of Mexican Americans.

Topics in this issue:
  • Mexican Americans in World War II
  • The Bracero Program
  • Operation Wetback
  • G.I. Forum; Community Service Organization
  • Mexican American political leaders
  • Mexican American civil rights cases
  • Zoot Suit Riots
 

La Cronica

 1954
Issue 8