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Ernesto Calderón and wife, Ruby, were community activists in the Waco area and participants in the Juárez-Lincoln University project in Austin where they earned their undergraduate degrees.
The Calderón talk about their individual family histories and genealogies. Mr.Calderón tells about his experiences growing up in a family of migrant agricultural workers. He recollects the race discrimination atmosphere in West Texas and how it was so much more severe than in the Waco area where he was born and raised. Mr. Calderón gives details about his 20-year service in the military and elaborates upon his 3-year service in Spain. Both talk about their political involvement with LULAC, MAYO, Raza Unida Party, PASO, the Mexican American Alliance, and the Democratic Party. Mr.Calderón discusses the internal politics, problems, and activities in each of these organizations and elaborates upon their objectives, mission, achievements, and failures. He talks about his role in the founding of Juárez-Lincoln University (a Mexican American institute of higher learning) in Austin, Texas in 1976, and he gives details about what led to its failure. He addresses the high school dropout problem among Mexican American students and he expresses his opinion why the situation exists. Mr. Calderón concludes the interview by calling upon the Mexican American community to renew their efforts to organize and fight for acceptable solutions to Mexican American issues that remain unresolved in Texas.
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