Texas Resistance: Mexican American Studies and the Fight Against Whiteness and White Supremacy in K-12 at the Turn of the 21st Century

  • Josué Puente University of Texas Río Grande Valley
  • Stephanie Alvarez University of Texas Río Grande Valley
Keywords: Mexican American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, Chicano Activism, Rio Grande Valley Education


This essay recounts the efforts by various groups throughout Texas with a special emphasis on the Rio Grande Valley to implement Mexican American Studies at the turn of the twenty-first century. We offer a historical timeline of events that demonstrates how the Mexican American Studies course came into existence. We also detail the way in which some Mexican American Studies courses were implemented. In other cases, we describe the way different groups were able to offer professional development to teachers to help them incorporate more Mexican American Studies content in their non-Mexican American studies courses or provide the community with the resources on how to include Mexican American Studies at their school. The common theme throughout is an undeniable resistance and mobilization on the part of many, hundreds, of educators, students, and community members to ensure that the youth do not continue to receive a whitewashed education, to ensure that students receive a more accurate representation of history, culture, language, and literature. In essence, the essay details a very hard-fought battle against White supremacy in the schools at the turn of the twenty-first century in Texas in which Mexican American Studies emerged victorious many steps of the way.