Freedom and Equality (Topic)

World Of Topics » Movies » News » Freedom and Equality

Freedom and Equality

Image 13 Reasons Why producer Mandy Tifi and Grown Up actress Francia Raisa will reveal the details of a high-profile lawsuit that played a key role in the fight against racial segregation in American schools. Variety has learned that television stars will team up to create a film about Mendes v. Westminster.

Gonzalo Mendes was born in Mexico in 1913. At the age of six, he moved to the United States with his mother and four brothers and sisters. Over the years, Gonzalo became the owner of a fairly successful farm, married a Puerto Rican Felicitas Gomez and had three children. In the early 40s, the Mendesses moved to Westminster in southern California, where they rented fields from a Japanese family left without breadwinners due to a government decree to send immigrants from the Land of the Rising Sun to internment camps. To their horror, Gonzalo and Felicitas found that their children were denied access to both city public schools.

Mendes' children always went to regular schools, but local laws prohibited migrants from sitting at the same desk with Americans. In 1943, Gonzalo received the status of a naturalized US citizen, but even this did not help him win a fight with officials. All this time, his children were forced to study in the so-called school for Mexicans, which was a dilapidated building with two rooms.


In 1945, Mendez and several other Mexicans decided to fight open discrimination and filed a class action lawsuit against the Orange County educational system. In February of the following year, Judge Paul McCormick ruled that racial segregation of students was a flagrant violation of the rights and freedoms of local residents. The victory in this high-profile case not only opened the way for the children of Mexican migrants to mainstream schools, but also created a judicial precedent, thanks to which in 1954 the US Supreme Court found the separation of schoolchildren with white and dark skin colors unconstitutional.

According to Tifi and Raisa, the film project will be created with the full support of the Mendes family.

The Topic of Article: Freedom and Equality.
Author: Jake Pinkman