What: “A Chicano Photographer’s Journey: 1969 to the Present” — A lecture by
Jesús Manuel Mena Garza, leading documentary photographer of the 1970s
Chicano Civil Rights Movement. The 12th Annual Commemorative Lecture in
Mexican American History, presented by the University of North Texas
When: 3-4 p.m. April 25 (Thursday). Reception follows
Where: Room 080 of the Business Leadership Building, 1307 W. Highland St.
Contact: UNT Department of History at 940-565-2288
DENTON (UNT), Texas — As a high school student visiting his mother’s hometown of Crystal City, Texas, Jesús Manuel Mena Garza witnessed other Mexican American high school students successfully protest discrimination at Crystal City schools by walking out of class. Thanks to media coverage of the walkout, the students gained national support from several groups and received the school board’s approval to speak Spanish at school without being punished and participate in student organizations that had previously excluded them.
That protest, in December 1969, led to Garza’s involvement in the Chicano Civil Rights Movement of the 1970s as a photographer documenting the significant events, protests and iconic figures associated with the movement, including César Chavez. Garza will share some of his photographs and discuss his involvement during a free lecture at the University of North Texas April 25 (Thursday).
Garza’s lecture, “A Chicano Photographer’s Journey: 1969 to the Present,” will be from 3 to 4 p.m. in Room 080 of the Business Leadership Building, located at 1307 W. Highland St. A reception will follow. Sponsored by the Mexican American studies minor program and the UNT Department of History, the event is the 12th Commemorative Lecture in Mexican American History. The annual lecture began as a way to have students and others remember Feb. 2, 1848, the day the United States’ war against Mexico ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. By the terms of the treaty, Mexico ceded half of its territory to the United States and received an indemnity of $15 million and the assumption of American claims against Mexico by the U.S. government.
Now living in Wichita Falls and teaching at Midwestern State University, Garza previously taught at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and the University of California at Riverside. His photographs have been published by the Princeton University Press and the Smithsonian Institution, and have been exhibited at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., as well as at many art galleries. Garza is a graduate of San José State University.