Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hispanic Heritage Month: Alicia Dickerson Montemayor

Alicia Dickerson Montemayor was a Latina activist and artist.  She was born in Laredo, Texas in 1902.  Her real name was "Alice" but she went by "Alicia." Though she grew up proud of her Texas and Mexican identity, she also embraced her Irish heritage.  

In 1924, she graduated from Laredo Business College.  That was a huge accomplishment since it was rare in that time for Mexican-Americans to graduate from high school. She set out to work to end discrimination and improve the lives of many Latino families.  

She became the first woman in 1937 to hold a national office with the League of United Latin American Citizens, better known as LULAC.  In 1937, she also became the first woman to serve on the board of LULAC News.  Montemayor also helped start the Junior LULAC.  

According to the Intercultural Development Research Association:

"One of the most radical women in LULAC was Alice Dickerson Montemayor who at the time of her activism in the 1930s was a wife, mother, worker, businesswoman and middle-class woman. It is equally important to characterize her as a free-thinking, assertive, independent feminist."

Montemayor loved art and at 74-years-old she started painting. Her art work has been widely exhibited. 

For more than Montemayor:

The National Women's History Project

The Intercultural Development Research Association

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