You are here

Oral History as a Means of Moral Repair: Jim Crow Racism and the Mexican Americans of San Antonio, Texas

Download pdf | Full Screen View

Date Issued:
2018
Abstract/Description:
Oral history’s purposes have metamorphosed from a record of lifeways and stories of the elite to a means of healing for minority communities oppressed by trauma. This dissertation focuses on the power of oral history to catalyze the restorative justice process of moral repair for victims—in this case the Mexican Americans of Texas—who were traumatized by the Jim Crow laws and practices prior to 1965. I researched the racial, socio-cultural history of Texas from its colonial days up to the Jim Crow historical era of 1876-1965 and utilized archival, legal, and historical sources for my study. Additionally, I explore theories and frameworks of trauma, structural violence, and restorative justice, and analyze twenty-eight oral histories from the Voces Oral History Collection (University of Texas, Austin). Lastly, I apply oral history methodology to collect seventeen oral histories for my own project, Project Aztlan. My findings reveal a community suffering from structural violence—a theory that argues unjust laws harm individuals as much as physical violence. The oral histories unearth several issues: first, both groups of narrators were victims of structural violence as a result of traumatic racism. I anticipated finding traumatic racism, but not on such a broad scale. The results reveal it occurred in all four corners of Texas. Second, these Jim Crow laws and practices targeted members individually and collectively through racially restrictive housing covenants, segregation of schools/public facilities, job discrimination, and disfranchisement or poll taxes. Thirdly, the oral histories demonstrate and legitimize the fact that the Mexican American community deserves atonement, apology and reparation from historically guilty institutions. The State of Texas battered them with mass lynchings, disfranchisement, racially restrictive housing covenants, school segregation, and discrimination, oppressing them for over 100 years. My dissertation concludes that the oral history process helps victims attain moral repair because, similar to moral repair, it also allows them the space to voice their stories of injustice. In turn, the oral historian validates their claims and reconciliation occurs when narrators received vindication through this reparatory process. This acknowledgment fuses broken moral bonds by equalizing members of society.
Title: Oral History as a Means of Moral Repair: Jim Crow Racism and the Mexican Americans of San Antonio, Texas.
0 views
0 downloads
Name(s): Dominguez-Karimi, Rebecca, author
Norman, Sandra, Thesis advisor
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Department of Languages, Linguistics and Comparative Literature
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Date Created: 2018
Date Issued: 2018
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 311 p.
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Oral history’s purposes have metamorphosed from a record of lifeways and stories of the elite to a means of healing for minority communities oppressed by trauma. This dissertation focuses on the power of oral history to catalyze the restorative justice process of moral repair for victims—in this case the Mexican Americans of Texas—who were traumatized by the Jim Crow laws and practices prior to 1965. I researched the racial, socio-cultural history of Texas from its colonial days up to the Jim Crow historical era of 1876-1965 and utilized archival, legal, and historical sources for my study. Additionally, I explore theories and frameworks of trauma, structural violence, and restorative justice, and analyze twenty-eight oral histories from the Voces Oral History Collection (University of Texas, Austin). Lastly, I apply oral history methodology to collect seventeen oral histories for my own project, Project Aztlan. My findings reveal a community suffering from structural violence—a theory that argues unjust laws harm individuals as much as physical violence. The oral histories unearth several issues: first, both groups of narrators were victims of structural violence as a result of traumatic racism. I anticipated finding traumatic racism, but not on such a broad scale. The results reveal it occurred in all four corners of Texas. Second, these Jim Crow laws and practices targeted members individually and collectively through racially restrictive housing covenants, segregation of schools/public facilities, job discrimination, and disfranchisement or poll taxes. Thirdly, the oral histories demonstrate and legitimize the fact that the Mexican American community deserves atonement, apology and reparation from historically guilty institutions. The State of Texas battered them with mass lynchings, disfranchisement, racially restrictive housing covenants, school segregation, and discrimination, oppressing them for over 100 years. My dissertation concludes that the oral history process helps victims attain moral repair because, similar to moral repair, it also allows them the space to voice their stories of injustice. In turn, the oral historian validates their claims and reconciliation occurs when narrators received vindication through this reparatory process. This acknowledgment fuses broken moral bonds by equalizing members of society.
Identifier: FA00005963 (IID)
Degree granted: Dissertation (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2018.
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Includes bibliography.
Subject(s): Mexican Americans--Texas--San Antonio
Oral histories
Jim Crowism
Racism
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Sublocation: Digital Library
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FA00005963
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.