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UT—and Texas—Celebrating New Tejano Monument

La historia de Tejas es la historia de Tejanos.”

“The story of Texas is the story of Tejanos.”

A crowd of several hundred heartily cheered those words, spoken by Sen. Judith Zaffirini (D-Laredo), during the Tejano Monument unveiling at the Capitol lawn Thursday morning. Some people in the crowd traveled from as far as El Paso, Laredo, and Amarillo for the event.

The $2 million bronze monument, more than 10 years in the making, was the result of an effort from Hispanic leaders across the state.

“It should have always been here, because we’ve always been here,” said Richard Raymond (D-Laredo).

UT was heavily involved both in celebrating the monument—the Butler School of Music’s Mariachi Ensemble, complete with burnt-orange bow ties, performed the national anthem—and in making sure that its meaning gets through to young Texans.

Education professors Cinthia Salinas and Maria Franquiz, history professor Emilio Zamora, and UT undergraduates studying bilingual education have created the Tejano History Curriculum Project, which uses primary sources to teach Austin elementary students about the often-neglected topic of Tejano history.

“The future of Texas is tied directly to the future of Hispanics,” said Gov. Rick Perry at the ceremony, “and I believe we have a glorious future ahead of us.”

Photo by Raymond Thompson

 

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