AUSTIN (KXAN) – When Diana Hernandez First Started (Re)request Memories at the University of Texas at Austin, she wants to restore the lost and forgotten history of people often overlooked.
“Typically, communities are disenfranchised in any way – BIPOC, gay, indigenous, people of color,” she said.
Specifically, the group’s goal is to protect sites like San José Cementerio in Montopolis.
“The San Jose Cemetery was founded in 1919, it was created specifically for the Mexican-American community, built during the era of segregation,” she said.
Hernandez said several community leaders are buried there, including Miguel Guerrero.
“He was part of the Unión Fraternal Mexicana, who founded the cemetery so he was, therefore, one of the founders of San Jose. Also, was instrumental in the founding of Zaragoza Park,” she added.
They are working with community and city leaders to preserve the cemetery. Hernandez said the group’s next project involved Palm School, which primarily served Mexican-American elementary school students during that time. For this project, they are working with community advocates.
Martha P. Cotera, who is now the Museum in Palm, said: “There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people still alive who went to school here, and they want to see it preserved as a museum of culture. Mexican Americans and Latino Cultures,” said Martha P. Cotera, now Museum in Palm School Task Force Coordinator.
Hernandez said they plan to continue recovering the memories one location at a time.
“I think it is important to preserve these histories because they are not preserved, and I think it is important to get these memories back to our younger generation, so they know about them,” Hernandez said. its history.
The PhD student said the UT team will continue to advocate for these sites and work with community leaders to ensure they receive the recognition they deserve.
When it comes to the county-owned Palm School, Travis County officials said they are working to redevelop the land on which the school is located. In June, Travis County employees have requested approval to continue to sell or lease Palm School. The Commission Court has voted to hold a community meeting for the first time, but according to online records, that has yet to happen.
https://www.kxan.com/news/local/austin/ut-group-works-to-preserve-historical-sites-for-communities-of-color/ Team UT works to preserve historic sites for communities of color