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Expanding on the Miné Okubo Collection, history and the arts, and social justice in the Inland Empire…


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“A Class Apart” Inaugurates the Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Film Series on September 3rd!

a class apart

Join us for a screening of this inspiring documentary in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month!

In 1951, a field hand named Pedro Hernández murdered his employer after exchanging words at a gritty cantina in Edna, Texas. From this seemingly unremarkable small-town murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Americans. Hernandez v. Texas went all the way to the Supreme Court, where the attorneys presenting the case successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.

The Hernandez lawyers decided on a daring but risky legal strategy, arguing that Mexican Americans were “a class apart” and did not neatly fit into a legal structure that recognized only black and white.  The case struck a chord with Latinos across the country. When funds to try the case ran out, the Mexican American community donated to the cause in any way they could.

The one-hour film dramatically interweaves the story of its central characters— activists and lawyers, returning veterans and ordinary citizens, murderer, and victim — within the broader story of a civil rights movement that is still alive today. Join us as we remember the story of one of the many unknown yet hard-fought moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

A Class Apart inaugurates the Liebert Cassidy Whitmore Film Series at the Center on “The Role of Law in American Society.” The film will screen at 6pm and again at 7:45pm.

Admission is free, but seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes prior to show time to secure your spot.

The Riverside Community College District would like to thank the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for their generous sponsorship of this series.

Please contact the Center with any questions:socialjustice@rccd.edu, (951) 222-8846.

This blog post was contributed by work-study student Cynthia Mosley.

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