JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE: THE DR. HECTOR P. GARCIA STORY
, airing Monday, September 17, at 9 p.m. at on KUED-Channel 7,
tells the story of Dr. Hector P. Garcia — Mexican Revolution refugee, medical doctor to the barrios, decorated war veteran, civil rights activist and presidential confidante — as he fought to bring attention to the Mexican-American civil rights movement. Through peaceful protest and legal recourse, Garcia confronted those who violated the civil rights of “his people” at the same time that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was working for equal rights for African-Americans. Returning to Texas after World War II with six battle stars, Garcia found that while Mexican-American veterans had been changed by the war, prejudiced America had not. His people faced public school segregation, squalid living conditions in labor camps and second-class citizenship. In 1948, Dr. Garcia founded the American GI Forum, empowering Mexican Americans to fight numerous legal and political battles against discrimination. As he championed the rights of Mexican Americans, his life was threatened, and he dealt with personal tragedy. Nevertheless, he refused to be thwarted by political setbacks and disappointments. Instead, he chose to peacefully resist prejudice by building his life and work on the foundation of the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE
features interviews with men and women who worked with Garcia during those crucial years in the Mexican-American civil rights movement. The documentary combines archival film and photos with Garcia’s own voice to provide memorable insights into his life and character. Newsreels, photos and video show Garcia’s growing commitment to help gain “justice for his people,” as he is caught in the maelstrom of post-war racial and ethnic struggle in South Texas. His fight is traced from Mathis, Texas, to Washington, D.C., and, finally, to the United Nations.In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded Garcia the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian award given by the president of the United States. He was the first Mexican American to receive the honor. JUSTICE FOR MY PEOPLE: THE DR. HECTOR P. GARCIA STORY airs on KUED-Channel 7 Monday, September 17, at 9 p.m.
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