Opinion: Don’t ignore local battles for civil rights

Students celebrate at a graduation at Mendez High School, named for human rights activist Sylvia Mendez.
(Daniela Gerson / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: It was not just any civil rights lawyers the Mendez family hired in the 1945-’46 case Mendez et al vs. Westminster School District in its fight to desegregate Orange County and California schools. (Re “The face behind a pivotal case,” June 27)

The lawyers involved with the case were David Marcus and Loren Miller. Miller, an African American Angeleno, was one of the architects of Brown vs. Board of Education case, and the Mendez case was important in helping set up the landmark Supreme Court case that ruled that state laws to segregate schools were unconstitutional.

It is important to understand the complexity of regional dynamics in the civil rights movement and how these local stories contribute to the national narrative of equal access to resources such as education.


Alison Rose Jefferson, Los Angeles

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