In this article, David G. García, Tara J. Yosso, and Frank P. Barajas examine the early twentieth-century origins of a dual schooling system that facilitated the reproduction of a cheap labor force and the marginalization of Mexicans in Oxnard, California. In their analysis of the 1930s Oxnard Elementary School District board minutes, alongside newspapers, maps, scholarly accounts, and oral history interviews, they argue that school segregation privileged Whites and discriminated against Mexicans as a form of mundane racism. The authors build on previous scholarship documenting the pervasiveness of racism in U.S. society to define mundane racism as the systematic subordination of Mexicans that occurred as a commonplace, ordinary way of conducting business within and beyond schools. Their findings complicate narratives that emphasize complete segregation in “Mexican schools,” while acknowledging the resistance of parents and the resilience of their children.

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