There is a lot of great movement going on right now with the story of Alex Bernal, the American citizen of Mexican ancestry whose 1943 fight against housing covenants in Fullerton paved the way for many of the civil-rights achievements for African-Americans and Latinos alike during the 1940s and 1950s. I can't divulge one development just yet, not because I'm a part of it (which I am), but because we need to give it time to see how far it will develop.
But I'm proud to announce that my alma mater, UCLA, is holding a symposium on Bernal's legacy next week.
“Doss v. Bernal:
Mexican Apartheid in Orange County
1900-1943” will be held at the UCLA Faculty Center's California Room this coming Monday, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. And although part of me grits my teeth that Orange County historians are allowing an Orange County history event to happen in Los Angeles, it's a wholly OC affair. The curator is UCLA professor and OC resident Robert Chao Romero, the country's leading scholar on the Chinese in Mexico and who's directing his academic eye on Mexican segregation in Orange County from the beginning until today. Making a presentation is Luis F. Fernandez, the Cal State Fullerton grad who's the leading expert on the case. And, most importantly, the Bernal family will also be in attendance to give their reflections on their pioneering papi.
Congratulations, UCLA, for having the cojones to host this event. And to the Orange County Historical Society: what's up?