The digital collection formerly called Photographs from the Alonso S. Perales Papers has been expanded and renamed Selections from the Alonso S. Perales Papers. In addition the the previous published photographs, the collection now contains documents that further highlight Perales’ life and career as a civil rights lawyer, diplomat, and political leader.
Alonso S. Perales (1898-1960) was one of the most influential Mexican Americans of his time. Perales saw himself as a defender of la raza, or race, especially battling charges that Mexicans and Latin Americans were inferior and a social problem. Perales was one of the founders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929 and helped write LULAC’s constitution, and he served as the organization’s second president.
An intellectual who firmly believed in the law, Perales wrote about civil rights, religion and racial discrimination, which he argued “had the approval of the majority.” His work included the pamphlet “Are We Good Neighbors?” and the two-volume set, “En defense de mi raza.” A member of the American Legion and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Perales was also a columnist for “La Prensa” and other Spanish-language newspapers.
View the complete collection in the UH Digital Library, or learn more about the conference that accompanied the release of the original digital collection, In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals.