Children's Literature

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation

Author(s) Duncan Tonatiuh
Age Group 6-10
Publisher Harry N. Abrams
ISBN 978-1419710544
Year 2014
Separate is Never Equal

When her family moves to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez is excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers are turned away and told they have to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia cannot understand why—she is a U.S. citizen. Why are the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decides to take matters into their own hands and organize a lawsuit. In the end, the Mendez family’s efforts help bring an end to segregated schooling in California in 1947.

Separate is Never Equal