Mexican tapestery pattern

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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Antonio Bill

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(57 pages)

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Born December 22, 1943, in Kerrville, Texas. Bill is a Member of the Alice Independent School District Board of Trustees and is a community activist in Kingsville and Alice, Texas.

Interview Summary:

The interview begins with Bill's family history and genealogy. Bill states that a primary reason he became involved in political life was his childhood memories of overt race discrimination against Mexican Americans in his hometown, Kerrville, Texas and the verbal racial slur indignities he had to endure in everyday life. Bill recounts his high school graduation and that out of the fifteen Mexican American students that graduated, he was the only one that went on to college. He talks about attending Ranger College and later Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas. Bill talks about some of the professors he had at Texas A & I such as Charles Cotrell who influenced him toward a direction of political involvement. He tells about becoming an elementary school teacher in Brownsville, Texas. Bill discusses his decision to move to Alice, Texas and run for the Alice school district board of education. He elaborates upon the problems associated with Mexican Americans in political life in Kerrville and states that due to their lack of numbers there, it was virtually impossible for Mexican Americans to get anywhere in politics at that time. His decision to move to Alice was due in part to the high percentage of Mexican Americans in their populations which allowed for a greater probability of election. Mr. Bill discusses his involvement with PASO, MAYO, La Raza Unida Party, and Involvement of Mexican Americans in Gainful Endeavors (IMAGE), a social concerns organization based in San Antonio. He discusses details of campaign financing and management and the significance of his failed elections which even though not elected helped him to build a reputation that would hlep him in later political endeavors.

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