Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Author(s): Duncan Tonatiuh


Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in the "Mendez vs. Westminster" case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. Mendez grew up during a time when most schools were segregated. In the case of California, Hispanics were not allowed to attend schools that were designated for "Whites" only and were sent to so-called "Mexican schools." Although an American citizen who spoke perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites" only school, an event which prompted her parents to take action, organise various sectors of the Hispanic community and file a lawsuit in the local federal court. The success of their actions would eventually bring an end to the era of segregated education.


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Product Information

Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. His first book, Dear Primo, was praised by School Library Journal as "an excellent tool for explaining how cultures connect." It was given the Pura Belpre Honour for Illustration in 2011.

General Fields

  • : 9781419710544
  • : Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
  • : Abrams Books for Young Readers
  • : 0.544
  • : May 2014
  • : 279mm X 229mm X 13mm
  • : United States
  • : May 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Duncan Tonatiuh
  • : Hardback
  • : English
  • : 379.263
  • : 40
  • : Full-colour illustrations with archival images in backmatter