Strategies of Segregation unearths the ideological and structural architecture of enduring racial inequality within and beyond schools in Oxnard, California. In this meticulously researched narrative spanning 1903 to 1974, David G. García excavates an extensive array of archival sources to expose a separate and unequal school system and its purposeful links with racially restrictive housing covenants. He recovers powerful oral accounts of Mexican Americans and African Americans who endured disparate treatment and protested discrimination. His analysis is skillfully woven into a compelling narrative that culminates in an examination of one of the nation’s first desegregation cases filed jointly by Mexican American and Black plaintiffs. This transdisciplinary history advances our understanding of racism and community resistance across time and place.
David G. García is Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Strategies of Segregation is a carefully researched, effectively argued, and beautifully written study of the centrality of school segregation to the racialization of space and the spatialization of race in Oxnard, California. Its deft blend of evidence from archival and oral history sources makes a major contribution to the histories of school and residential segregation. This fine book also reveals how Mexican Americans and Blacks fought back and battled for educational equity and racial justice.”—George Lipsitz, author of The Possessive Investment in Whiteness
“Through a study of how school segregation and residential segregation reinforce one another, Strategies of Segregation examines how structural racism became embedded in Oxnard, a city just north of Los Angeles. David G. García’s analysis across multiple urban institutions and interlocking racial practices will make this a model book for years to come.”—Natalia Molina, author of How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts
“García offers an original interpretation of school segregation and racial subordination with a rich and well-documented foundation of primary sources that vividly recreate schemes to subordinate Mexicans and African Americans in Oxnard. This outstanding book speaks to national issues of segregation, racial inequality, and resistance and will command the attention of the larger academy.”—James D. Anderson, author of The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860–1935
“Strategies of Segregation is a provocative and engaging book that will broaden our understanding of the history of Mexican American education. This book is a must-read for historians and education policymakers.”—Rubén Donato, author of Mexicans and Hispanos in Colorado Schools and Communities, 1920–1960
“Strategies of Segregation is a welcome addition to emerging studies on race, place, and schooling in the American West. García effectively disrupts the traditional divide between de facto and de jure segregation and complicates conventional understandings of community activism among Mexican Americans and African Americans.”—Joy Ann Williamson-Lott, author of Radicalizing the Ebony Tower: Black Colleges and the Black Freedom Struggle in Mississippi