Library Articles and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



"Many Orange County, California schoolchildren know the name 'Mendez.' After all, the iconic name is front and center of the landmark civil rights case that desegregated several of the county’s public schools in 1947, preceding the 1954 Brown v. Board case on a national level. The Mendez family, one of five Latino families which challenged several school districts in the county on their practice of Mexican-only schools, had their name immortalized in history. But the Mendezes would not have been able to lead the legal charge if it was not for another family of color, the Munemitsus, the Japanese American farming family behind the story of the Mendez v. Westminster."


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Pacific Citizen, volume 171, issue 11, in 2020.

This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


The author



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.