Celebrating Mexican-American Journalist Jovita Idár

Source: The New York Times / Image: General Photograph Collection/ UTSA Libraries Special Collections​​

This morning’s Google Doodle is honoring Mexican-American journalist, political activist, and civil rights worker Jovita Idár.

I confess that I had never heard about Jovita until this morning, which makes me wonder—how many stories about our ancestors have I not read about?

As a little girl, I was a voracious reader, but I always found it difficult to prepare for biography projects.

The shelves were always stacked with notable figures like George Washington and Princess Diana, but I never found stories about people I could relate to or who understood what it was like to grow up being Mexican-American in the United States.

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After reading about Jovita, I got emotional thinking about the fact that it took thirty years for me to hear her story.

This is just one of the many reasons I am so committed to continue working on Mexico In My Pocket. As a community, I feel like we have a responsibility to make sure our stories aren’t erased and that they are preserved for years to come.

Jovita was known for promoting the rights of Mexican-Americans and women. She was passionate about preserving Mexican culture in South Texas and she wasn’t afraid to fight for First Amendment rights.

Source: Google.com​​

In 1914, the Texas Rangers were furious after the newspaper where she worked published an editorial criticizing President Woodrow Wilson.

The rangers showed up outside of El Progreso’s newspaper office with the intent of shutting it down, but Jovita blocked them from entering and argued that silencing the newspaper would violate its constitutional First Amendment rights.

As a Mexican-American journalist myself, I am so passionate about our First Amendment rights and am so grateful to Jovita for having the courage to speak up and to publish stories during a time when it was common to see signs in restaurants that said “No Negroes, Mexicans, or dogs allowed.” 

Gracias Jovita, your legacy lives on and we will continue to share your story with others.

To learn more about Jovita’s story, click here.

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About the Author


Mexican-American journalist, former national news producer, and graduate of Boston College and Columbia University School of Journalism. Her mission is to shed more light on the beauty and traditions of Mexican culture. This website is dedicated to her grandmothers, Tita Susana and Tita Lupita, who taught her to be proud of her heritage and to always remember where her ancestors came from.

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