Separate is Never Equal Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

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

Written by Duncan Tonatiuh
Illustrated by


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

About the Author

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.

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Book Info


40 pages


Duncan Tonatiuh
More books by Duncan Tonatiuh


Publication date

1st May 2014



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