Cynthia E. Orozco, Ph.D.


Orozco obtained her BA from the University of Texas at Austin and an MA and Ph.D. from UCLA. She taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio and University of New Mexico. She is the co-editor of Mexican Americans in Texas History, an associate editor of Latinas in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia, and served as Research Associate at the Texas State Historical Association where she wrote 80 articles on Texas history for the Handbook of Texas.

She has also worked as Research Associate at the Institute of Texan Cultures. Orozco received two Ford Foundation grants to complete her book research. She currently teaches World Humanities, Western Civilization, and Lincoln County history at ENMU-Ruidoso, New Mexico and was appointed to the New Mexico Humanities Council by Governor Richardson. The Texas State Historical Association named Orozco a fellow in 2012.


Agent of Change: Adela Sloss-Vento, Mexican American Civil Rights Activist and Texas Feminist

The essayist Adela Sloss-Vento (1901–1998) was a powerhouse of activism in South Texas’s Lower Rio Grande Valley throughout the Mexican American civil rights movement beginning in 1920 and the subsequent Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. At last presenting the full story of Sloss-Vento’s achievements, Agent of Change revives a forgotten history of a major female Latina leader.

Bringing to light the economic and political transformations that swept through South Texas in the 1920s as ranching declined and agribusiness proliferated, Cynthia E. Orozco situates Sloss-Vento’s early years within the context of the Jim Crow/Juan Crow era. Recounting Sloss-Vento’s rise to prominence as a public intellectual, Orozco highlights a partnership with Alonso S. Perales, the principal founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Agent of Change explores such contradictions as Sloss-Vento’s tolerance of LULAC’s gender-segregated chapters, even though the activist was an outspoken critic of male privilege in the home and a decidedly progressive wife and mother. Inspiring and illuminating, this is a complete portrait of a savvy, brazen critic who demanded reform on both sides of the US-Mexico border.

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Mexican Americans in Texas History, Selected Essays

The contributions and influences of Mexican Americans in Texas history have been many and significant. Only in recent decades, however, have historians adequately told this story. The enormous strides made in the study of Mexican-origin people in Texas are reflected in this important new book of essays.In May 1991 the Texas State Historical Association cosponsored a conference, “Mexican Americans in Texas History,” which brought together some six hundred participants, including nearly one hundred leading scholars in the field of Mexican American Studies. In the words of the editors’ introduction, this highly successful conference “confirmed and celebrated the existence of a substantial body of literature in Mexican American history.” It showed that “Mexican American history was on its way to assuming its rightful place of importance.”This groundbreaking volume, which contains eleven essays from that pivotal conference, corrects and amplifies the historical record. Mexican Americans in Texas History will be of great interest to students, scholars, teachers, and general readers, and it is well adapted to classroom use.Selected essays include:; Old Roads, New Horizons: Texas History and the New World Order, by David Montejano; Occupied Texas: Bexar and Goliad, 1835–;1836, by Paul Lack; Mexicanos in Texas During the Civil War, by Miguel González Quiroga; Union, Paz y Trabajo: Laredo’s Mexican Mutual Aid Societies in the 1890s, by Roberto R. Calderón; Mutualist and Mexicanist Expressions of a Mexican Political Culture in Texas, by Emilio Zamora; The Tejano Revolt of 1915, by Rodolfo Rocha; Agents of Americanization: The Houston Settlement Association and the Mexican Community, 1900–;1950, by María Cristina García; Trini Gamez and the Texas Farm Workers: Toil and Trouble on the Texas Plains, by Yolanda García Romero; Carlos E. Castañeda: The Historian and the Critics” by Félix D. Almaráz; The Borderlands of Culture: Americo Paredes’s George Washington Gomez, by Ramón Saldívar; Estudios Tejanos: A List of Historical Literature on Mexican Americans in Texas, by Arnoldo de Leon; Selected Bibliography on Mexican American, Tejana, and Tejano History, by Cynthia Orozco
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No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement

Founded by Mexican American men in 1929, the League of United Latin-American Citizens (LULAC) has usually been judged according to Chicano nationalist standards of the late 1960s and 1970s. Drawing on extensive archival research, including the personal papers of Alonso S. Perales and Adela Sloss-Vento, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed presents the history of LULAC in a new light, restoring its early twentieth-century context.

Cynthia Orozco also provides evidence that perceptions of LULAC as a petite bourgeoisie, assimilationist, conservative, anti-Mexican, anti-working class organization belie the realities of the group's early activism. Supplemented by oral history, this sweeping study probes LULAC's predecessors, such as the Order Sons of America, blending historiography and cultural studies. Against a backdrop of the Mexican Revolution, World War I, gender discrimination, and racial segregation, No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed recasts LULAC at the forefront of civil rights movements in America.

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Pioneer of Mexican-American Civil Rights: Alonso S. Perales

In this wide-ranging biography, historian Cynthia Orozco examines the life and work of one of the most influential Mexican Americans of the twentieth century. Alonso S. Perales was born in Alice, Texas, in 1898; he became an attorney, leading civil rights activist, author and US diplomat.

Perales was active in promoting and seeking equality for “La Raza” in numerous arenas. In 1929, he co-founded the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the most important Latino civil rights organization in the United States. He encouraged the empowerment of Latinos at the voting box and sought to pass state and federal legislation banning racial discrimination. He fought for school desegregation in Texas and initiated a movement for more and better public schools for Mexican-descent people in San Antonio.

A complex and controversial figure, Alonso S. Perales is now largely forgotten, and this first-ever comprehensive biography reveals his work and accomplishments to a new generation of scholars of Mexican-American history and Hispanic civil rights. This volume is divided into four parts: the first is organized chronologically and examines his childhood to his role in World War I, the beginnings of his activism in the 1920s and the founding of LULAC. The second section explores his impact as an attorney, politico, public intellectual, Pan-American ideologue and US diplomat. Perales’ private life is examined in the third part and scholars’ interpretations of his legacy in the fourth.

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Handbook Entries

Title Contributor Type
American Council of Spanish Speaking People Author
Barnard, Juana Josefina Cavasos Author
Canales, José Tomás [J. T.] Revision Author
Chapa, Frank L. Author
Chicana Rights Project Author
Círculo Cultural Isabel La Católica Author
Clínica de la Beneficencia Mexicana Author
Comisión Honorífica Mexicana Author
Cortez Lira, Gregorio Author
Cruz, Pablo Author
Del Rio ISD v. Salvatierra Author
Dominguez, Simon G. Author
Emigrant Agent Acts Author
Escajeda, Josefina Author
Escobar, Eleuterio, Jr. Author
Garcia, Eva Carrillo de Author
Garcia, Gustavo C. Author
Garcia, Matias William Author
Garza, Bernardo F. Author
Garza, Gilberto A. Author
Garza, Higinio, Jr. Author
Garza, José Antonio de la Author
Gonzales, Manuel C. Author
González de Mireles, Jovita Author
Guerra, Fermina Author
Guerra, Gustavo A. Author
Harlingen Convention Author
Hernández, María L. de Author
Hidalgo County Rebellion Author
Hispanic Women's Network of Texas Author
Idar, Clemente Nicasio Author
Idar, Eduardo Author
Intercultural Development Research Association Author
Kenedy, Petra Vela de Vidal Author
Kibbe, Pauline Rochester Author
Ladies LULAC Author
League of United Latin American Citizens Author
Lozano, Alicia Guadalupe Elizondo de Author
Machuca, Esther Nieto Author
Marin, Eulalio Author
Mendez, Consuelo Herrera Author
Mexican American Democrats Author
Mexican American Legislative Caucus Author
Mexican American Republicans of Texas Author
Mexican American Women Author
Mireles, Edmundo Eduardo Author
Montemayor, Alice Dickerson Author
Mujeres Por La Raza Author
Munguia Torres, José Rómulo Author
Munguia, Carolina Malpica Author
Navarro, Antonio Victor Author
Nuecestown Raid of 1875 Author
O'Shea, Elena Zamora Author
Order of Knights of America Author
Order of Sons of America Author
Orozco, Aurora Estrada Author
Orozco, Primitivo [Primo] Author
Perales, Alonso S. Author
Pérez Álvarez, Casimiro Author
Perez, Lino, Sr. Author
Quintanilla Perez, Selena [Selena] Author
Ramirez, Emilia Wilhelmina Schunior Author
Reds and Blues Author
Republican National Hispanic Assembly Author
Rodriguez de Gonzales, Elvira Author
Rodriguez v. San Antonio ISD Author
Rodriguez, Cleto Luna Author
Rodriguez, Herlinda Morales Author
Sada, Maria G. Author
Salazar de Esparza, Ana Author
School Improvement League Author
SER-Jobs For Progress Author
Settlement Houses Author
Solis, John C. Author
Spanish-Speaking PTA Author
Texans For the Educational Advancement of Mexican Americans Author
Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce Author
Texas Council on Human Relations Author
Texas IAF Network Author
Velásquez, William C. Author
Vento, Adela Sloss Author
Viva Kennedy-Viva Johnson Clubs Author
Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social [MALCS] Author

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