HOLA Tarrant County
Formed out of a desire to create a history of Latinas and Latinos in Tarrant County, The Historians Of Latino Americans (HOLA), a non-profit organization aims to research, document, and archive our work and to share it with the community. Our hope is that this information will lead to a better understanding and appreciation of the role that Latinas and Latinos have played in the civil, educational, and cultural history of our county.
This exhibit is a visual presentation of the historical trail the Mexican immigrant has experienced in Fort Worth. We first put the pop-up exhibit on display at the Trinity River Campus of TCC in October 2019 then at Artes De La Rosa Cultural Center in North Side Fort Worth in December 2020.
We are conducting oral history interviews of people who have lived in Tarrant County for the majority of their lives. Our current focus is on learning the experiences of Mexican American women who lived in the south side Fort Worth neighborhood of Worth Heights since the 1930s.
In these three short essays, Cecilia Sánchez Hill discusses the Mexican American activism taking place in Fort Worth during the 1960s and 1970s. She focuses on the struggles between the difference in activist’s strategies in “Division,” the War on Poverty efforts in “The Establishment of the Greater Tarrant County Community Action Agency,” and the efforts of a group of Mexican American parents to gain equitable opportunities for their children in education in ” Rufino Mendoza and the Mexican American Educational Advisory Council.”
Both articles, “Helping and Hurting the Poor” and “Colonia Mexicana,” focus primarily on a barrio called La Corte, which was generally referred to as “Little Mexico” by much of Fort Worth’s population in the 1920s and 1930s. The first article, “Helping and Hurting the Poor,” was written in 2008 and was awarded the George Wolfskill Award for Best Graduate Paper as part of the 2009 Barksdale Essays in History competition. This research was primarily built upon Fort Worth Housing Authority archived documents, City Directory information, and newspaper clippings. The second article, “Colonia Mexicana,” was published in the Spring, 2019 edition of The Journal of South Texas. This essay builds upon the first but adds more specific and detailed information that was obtained through reports and theses from the Fort Worth Independent School District’s archives and various sociology theses that were published in the late 1930s and early 1940s (mostly by Texas Christian University graduate students). The process of removing the community is explored in greater depth in the latter essay.
Recent and Archival
HOLA member and journalist, Richard Gonzales, frequently researches and writes columns for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that highlight the Latina/o past and present in the city. Through Gonzales’s column, readers can learn about various topics from Fort Worth’s first Mexican neighborhood, the struggle for bilingual education in Fort Worth ISD, to the hidden Mexican heritage of Texas Rangers Baseball manager, Ted Williams.
Six white interns, on summer vacation, in 1970, from various universities across Texas and the Midwest, investigated the conditions of the Mexican American community for a special edition of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. The Star-Telegram’s interest in the plight of Mexican Americans in Fort Worth is evident of both the gains made by the older WWII veteran activists led by Gilbert Garcia in the twenty five years since the end of the war and the national attention the younger Chicano activists brought to the continued inequalities in the lives of Mexicans in the United States . . .click on the link above to learn more and to read the special edition.
Share Your Story
Have you or your family lived in Tarrant County for a long time? If you would like to be interviewed to share your story, please contact us to make the arrangements. We can conduct interviews virtually and will provide you with a copy.