Education for a New Race: White Schools, Child Labor, and Creating the Mexican in the Equality State, 1917-1941
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What has been the historical role of public schools in creating segregation and race? This study looks at the schooling experience of Mexican, Mexican American, and white children—all viewed as white under the law—in Wyoming in the first half of the 20th century to address this question. The public schooling experience of Mexicans in Wyoming illuminates the centrality of public schools and school people in circumventing the legal white status of Mexicans in the state and serving as a stand-in for formal Jim Crow laws. In fact, schools became the architects of race with school people such as teachers, principals, and superintendents being the final actors in the race formation process that distinguished whites from Mexicans regardless of citizenship status. In Wyoming, public schools created the Mexican race.
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