Community and Violence in South Texas: 1930-1979
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My research project is titled “Community and Violence in South Texas, 1930-1979.” It seeks to answer the question: How did South Texas communities organize to bring about positive social, economic, and political change to Hispanics involved in agricultural labor after decades of segregation, discrimination, labor oppression, and poverty? What was the climate of South Texas at the time and what factors precipitated change? The Portraiture Methodology of social science research used in this qualitative research project seeks to bridge art and science. Through the Portraiture Methodology, I am seeking to apply qualitative research methods by weaving interviews, observational site visits, library data, and personal narrative. My focus is to interview subjects involved in agricultural labor and emerging labor unions in South Texas, participate in at least two observational site visits, apply research library and web research materials and include personal narrative. In utilizing my personal history and that of my interviewees, this research project will expose primary information not found in the historical record. The themes will weave an intricate pattern as I investigate social, economic, and political factors that led to multiple South Texas strikes with a focus on the 1938 San Antonio, Texas Pecan Sheller’s strike, the 1966-1967 Rio Grande City, Starr County, Texas Melon strike, and the 1979 Raymondville, Texas Onion Strike. Concluding with my personal reflections, my goal is to present a historical narrative of the events, voices, and resolutions to the laboring people of South Texas of Hispanic heritage.