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  • When I was younger, I loved hearing about my family history and old stories from my grandmother about when she was little. And we have a good record of all our family history; thankfully, my great aunt keeps a Maverick room where she just stores away any little bit of information on our family and so we have a good record all of that history. So I had a good childhood learning all that. My grandmother grew up on a dairy farm in San Antonio called Sunshine Ranch and this was where her entire family lived, her grandparents, her aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone was on this farm. And so, San Antonio was a very different place at the time, it wasn’t a place where Hispanics had many rights and they were in the minority. Now growing up when she was little in the 40s her uncle, Maury Maverick was the mayor of San Antonio and he felt that, you know, everyone should have equal rights and this wasn’t a common notion at the time. And he gave permission to a Hispanic woman named Emma Tenayuca to hold a protest for, you know, for protesting Hispanic wages. Um, they were paid nothing and so she wanted to protest this. He gave her permission, he gave her the papers and everything to hold this protest and this angered a lot of people in San Antonio. My grandmother told me this story of how one night she was asleep in her house and she and her older sisters shared a room and they were awoken by this light shining in their room. And she would tell me, it was just, it was very distinct; it was this light shining in her face and it his every single corner of the room as if they were looking for something. And, you know, they’re all kind of terrified at this point and they look out the window and see these men just dressed in all white, you can’t see their faces. They’re just in big white robes and big white hats that cover them and they’re all just terrified, they’re paralyzed, they don’t know what to do. Luckily their mother was awoken too and she came in to comfort them. They’re asking, you know, “Mom, who were those people?” And she tells them “Girls, don’t, don’t worry that was just the priests from down the road, they like to take their midnight strolls. Don’t worry, go back to bed, you’re fine.” So, little kids, they’re like, “oh, yeah, I guess that’s weird, but alright, I believe you.” Later, she actually found out the real story that that night the Ku Klux Klan had come after her uncle and they were searching the farm for him and they went to every single house, they looked in every single window to make sure that he wasn’t there and luckily he had caught wind of this and was hiding out at the police station with his family and no one else on the farm was injured. Um, this story always scared me a lot, thinking about what could have happened, but um, it also kind of reminded me how important it is to stand up for what you believe in even though it might anger people. Um, her uncle knew that he was making controversial decisions, but he knew he was making good decisions and bettering the lives of Hispanics in San Antonio and I really think that my great-great uncle would be very proud to see the city today and see what it’s become because of some things he did that people didn’t agree with, but he knew were the right things to do.
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