This introductory chapter establishes the setting of the study at Oxnard, California, whose educational past lends itself to original analysis of schooling discrimination and contributes to national discussions of racism, segregation, civil rights, community resistance, and educational policy. It reveals four strategies of segregation that complicate previous narratives: establishing a racial hierarchy, building a permanent link between residential and school segregation, utilizing a school-within-a-school model of racial separation, and omitting a rationale for segregation. Furthermore, the chapter links Oxnard's narrative with that of prevailing scholarly literature on labor and housing and draws parallels between Mexican American and African American struggles in both the housing and educational sectors.
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