MAS Lecture Notes: Film: A Class Apart. : MAS Texas Talk
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MAS Lecture Notes: Film: A Class Apart.

by Tony D on 06/16/14

MAS Lecture Notes: Film: A Class Apart.
Created and conducted by Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante.

A Class Apart. Directors: Peter Miller, Carlos Sandoval. Writer: Carlos Sandoval.  (2009)  (Classroom clock: 60 mins.)

Note: I'll be using my own lesson plans/lecture notes at first because I have tested them in the class room. Also, it's easier to get permission to use them from  myself. Once we get permission from other professors and teachers to use their notes or lesson plans,  we will post those as well.  

Also, there are partial notes. I'll post my complete notes in time for the launch of the MAS Tool Kit, July 31, 2014.

I love using the film "A Class Apart" in class because of its Texas connections, and the civil rights precedent established by the team of Tejano lawyers. Also, the lead lawyer, Gus Garcia, is a tragic hero.

There are many Houston connections.

Judge De Anda, another of the lawyers on the case, lived and practiced law in Houston. There are many living community leaders who knew Garcia and De Anda. They can also speak of the work they did and what they accomplished.

Judge Lupe Salinas is a noted legal scholar who teaches at Texas Southern University.

Judge Salinas is a very active member in the Mexican American Bar Association of Houston (MABAH). Current members of MABAH as well as the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston knew De Anda and Garcia.

One of the leading books on the case was written by Houstonian Michael A. Olivas. It's titled “Colored Men And Hombres Aquí”: Hernandez v. Texas and the Emergence of Mexican-American Lawyering. Published by Arte Público Press in 2006.

This leads to several other Houston connections as Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law Director; Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance at The University of Houston Law Center.

Also, Arte Público Press is also based in Houston at the University of Houston.

This leads to many possibilities for contemporary tie-ins to the film, which I will expound upon in an update. However, one of example of this was the:

Conference on Hernandez v. Texas at Fifty. Sponsored by University of Houston Law Center and Arte Publico Press 
The conference notes provide a wealth of articles and primary material about the case.

PBS provided teachers resources:

PBS list of related books and websites:

Find out more about Gus Garcia Day in Texas.

Read the essay: Mexicans Ain't White: The Gus Garcia Story by Tony Diaz.

Website created by Community Historian and LULAC Member David Contreras:

More to come July 31, 2014.

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