Russell Contreras: A Mexican American lawyer’s prayer, and a promiseby Dee Dee Garcia Blase on Mar. 17, 2013, under Cultura, Culture, Mexican-American / Chicano political activism, Mexican-Americans and Chicanos are patriotic
I wanted to share this excellent story by Russell Contreras as we continue to raise more awareness on “all things Mexican-American” and this one is near and dear to my heart since he mentions Dr. Hector P. Garcia (my favorite Chicano hero and leader), and it has to do with southwestern history and the Mexican Revolution in a State where the Mexican-American population continues to explode with growth.
In 1943, John J. Herrera walked into La Virgen de Guadalupe Church in Houston’s East End a broke man. The 33-year-old had earned his money as a migrant worker, a city ditch digger and now worked as a cabbie. But Herrera, a descendent of a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, wanted to dramatically change his future and the future of his growing family.
The need to work had forced the Louisiana-born Herrera to delay his high school graduation by three years. Still, Herrera was somehow able to finish his course work at the South Texas College of Law. All that now stood between Herrera and his desire to become one of just a handful of Mexican American lawyers in Texas was passing the Texas Bar Exam. He had already taken it two previous times.
His fellow cabbies took a collection. They raised enough money for Herrera to take time off and study for six weeks for the bar. With the money, Herrera drove his family to Corpus Christi, Texas to drop them off so he could put himself in total seclusion.
He also paid a visit to La Virgen de Guadalupe.
The Houston church had played a key role among city’s growing Mexican American population since opening in 1912. In its early days, it served Mexican refugees escaping the violence of the Mexican Revolution and had since become the gathering place for one of the city’s most discriminated group of residents. FULL STORY HERE >>>