Dr. Hector The Program Education Materials Resources


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Justice for my People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story

The untold story of an inspiring leader in the Mexican-American
struggle for civil rights.

Justice for my People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story is a ninety-minute documentary produced by Jeff Felts of KEDT-TV, Public Television in Corpus Christi. The program is available to Public Television stations across the United States, and for individual purchase on DVD.

Six years in the making, the program traces the rise of the Mexican American civil rights movement from the 1920s to the 1980s through the ideals, choices and actions of Dr. Hector P. Garcia. Although he is not widely known by the general public, Dr. Garcia's work produced profound change in the treatment of Mexican Americans and earned him a place among the most important leaders in American civil rights history.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia

The life of Dr. Hector P. Garcia - Mexican Revolution refugee, medical doctor of the slums, war veteran, civil rights activist and confidante of presidents - parallels the slow, painful rise of his people to first class citizenship.

Garcia's achievements are of historical importance. Through peaceful protest and legal recourse, he confronted the violators of the civil rights of "his people" at the same time that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. worked for equal rights for African Americans.

Justice for my People: The Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story illuminates the critical issues of each decade through Dr. Hector Garcia's personal experience. Twenty on-camera interviews were recorded with scholars, contemporaries, and adversaries to place each incident in context. History is brought to life by interviews with men and women who worked with Garcia during those crucial years, offering personal insights into life as an American minority.

John F. Kennedy meeting Mexican American leaders.

Newsreels, photos and action video show Garcia's growing commitment to help gain "justice for his people" as he is caught in the maelstrom of post-war racial and ethnic struggle in South Texas. His fight for justice is traced from Mathis, Texas to Washington D.C., and finally to the United Nations. Garcia's own recorded voice provides memorable insights into his life and character.

When young Americans of any ethnic group look for a hero to emulate, they need look no further than to the example of Dr. Hector P. Garcia. In making himself into an inspirational leader, Garcia was forced to overcome many of the obstacles that have held back others who began in similar circumstances:

  • He chose not to be satisfied with a life of poverty.
  • He chose not to accept prejudicial treatment.
  • He chose not to allow injustice to his people.
  • He did choose to get an education so that he might engage in a profession that would provide him with economic opportunity while serving others.
  • He did choose to peacefully resist prejudice by building his life and work on the foundation of the principles set forth in the United States Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
  • He did choose to fight for the rights of others who were unable to fight for themselves.
  • Garcia chose to follow the American dream and to give others the dream, too.

Now, with the production of this Public Television documentary of his life, Dr. Hector P. Garcia can be an inspiration to a new generation of Americans.