The Texas Communities Oral History Project, initiated by Max Krochmal, a professor at Texas Christian University, is focused on personal narratives as a form of collecting history not otherwise documented. Our research primarily consists of interviews but is supported by various primary and secondary sources. Our first interviews were with “gatekeepers,” people who were involved and got us in contact with other activists like themselves. Through the tightly linked network of Mexicano activists here in Fort Worth, we were connected to other activists who were willing to contribute to our project. Each interview was conducted in-person, and we documented each of the interviews through audio and video recordings.
We chose to use oral histories as the medium for our research because, as put by Donald Ritchie, “oral history collects memories and personal commentaries of historical significance” (19). Oral history is a method of preserving stories that otherwise would have been neglected by history books. These oral interviews allow for the community to tell its own story through the eyes of the people who experienced and lived during the movement and the changes it brought to Fort Worth due to Mexicano activism.
On May 2, 2013, we held a community presentation for those interested in our research. Our interviewees, family, friends, and faculty of Texas Christian University attended to view the final project you see here. Their input has greatly helped us better our project and help others around the Texas Christian University campus and beyond be more informed about Mexicano activism in the city in which they live.