In Defense of La Raza: The Los Angeles Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Community, 1929 to 1936

by Francisco E. Balderrama
University of Arizona Press, 1982
eISBN: 978-0-8165-3784-6, Cloth: 978-0-8165-0774-0, Paper: 978-0-8165-0787-0

Mexican communities in the United States faced more than unemployment during the Great Depression. Discrimination against Mexican nationals and similar prejudices against Mexican Americans led the communities to seek help from Mexican consulates, which in most cases rose to their defense.
Los Angeles’s consulate was confronted with the country’s largest concentration of Mexican Americans, for whom the consuls often assumed a position of community leadership. Whether helping the unemployed secure repatriation and relief or intervening in labor disputes, consuls uniquely adapted their roles in international diplomacy to the demands of local affairs.

Francisco E. Balderrama is a Chicano historian who joined the faculty of Texas Tech University in 1981. He has also served as director of the Chicano Studies Program at Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado, and he was a visiting professor at the Chicano Studies Center at the Claremont Colleges. A Los Angeles native, Dr. Balderrama received advanced degrees in history at the University of California, Los Angeles, and has lived and studied in Mexico.

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