‹‹ Colorado Matters

How the first Mexican-American school desegregation case was won, lost, and found anew

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16min 47sec
Courtesy of Katie Dokson
Artist Sonny Rivera poses with the relief sculpture he made to commemorate the Maestas case in Alamosa. The case is one of the first documented segregation case of the Mexican-American community.

A school desegregation case in Colorado was won, and nearly lost to history. In 1912, Alamosa was home to two schools, serving white and Mexican students respectively. When the child of a Hispanic family living near the white school tried to enroll there, he was denied. His family sued and won, marking the earliest recorded Mexican-American desegregation case. The story was long forgotten... until a group of historians came along.