The Before Silicon Valley Project: Mexican Cannery & Agricultural Workers of Santa Clara County, 1920-1960
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 and the Final Launch of The Before Silicon Valley Website/Online Exhibit! To celebrate, attend the Oct 14th Mexican Historic Sites Bike Tour of San Jose (10 am-1 pm, starting at San Jose City Hall) and the Tardead/Family Dance and Mini-Documentary Viewing (1-4 pm City Hall Plaza and Rotunda).
Both NPR’s California Report and The Metro (San Jose) are acknowledging the importance of this project and are publicizing these events!!
MAKE YOUR FINAL PROJECT DONATION THAT WILL FUND THE OCT 14TH CELEBRATION, COMPLETE THE PROJECT STORYMAP, AND COMPLETE THE FINAL PROCESSING OF THE OVER 80 ORAL HISTORIES!!
On Cesar Chavez Day March 31, 2023, we soft launched the Before Silicon Valley Project: Mexican Cannery & Agricultural Workers of Santa Clara County, 1920-1960 bilingual website hosted by the AACNA Center at San José State University Library (see: https://library.sjsu.edu/b4sv). The website features an online exhibit with over 35 Scholar Talks and four mini-documentaries that highlight the little documented history of Mexican migration, work, housing, entertainment and civil rights activism in Santa Clara County from the 1920s to the 1960s. To celebrate the soft launch, in April and May we held Community Public Programs to introduce the public to the website, with an Scholar Talk and a viewing of a related mini-documentary. Over 600 people attended the Cannery Worker Commemoration at The Gardner Center and the 5 Public Programs held at:
·The History Center at De Anza College,
·The Mountain View Historical Society in Collaboration with The Los Altos History Museum,
·La Biblioteca Branch Library of SJPL, and
·History Park (sponsored by La Raza Historical Society).
We are expecting a large attendance to the final festivities October 14!! We need funding to undertake all the commemoration activities, as well as complete two final website components. This final request will support
·The completion a Storymap of historical sites related to the Project’s Online Exhibit,
·Completing the processing the over 80 oral history interviews, and
·The final launch festivities at San Jose City Hall Plaza on October 14th (Saturday) to Celebrate The Before Silicon Valley Project website/online exhibit: The Bike Tour and afternoon Tardeada/Family Dance and Mini-Documentary Viewing
Before “Silicon Valley,” Santa Clara County was the largest fruit-producing and processing region in the United States. Although Mexicans provided a majority of the labor force for this cannery and agricultural center, little of this history is in books, archives, or on the internet, and few materials have been digitized. That is why all of the materials collected in our research will be donated to the AACNA Center and accessible to the public at the end of the project.
We appreciate the many people who have already contributed their stories, photos, and funds to support our project.
We thank our sponsor San José Parks Foundation and our collaborators San José State Library AACNA Center, Arhoolie Foundation, and La Raza Historical Society.
Please contribute, share and follow our project online, via Facebook, Instagram, and the new website. Read The Metro feature article coming Oct. 12, 2023.
Follow us on:
Margo McBane, PhD, Project Co-Director Emeritus Lecturer in History / San José State University email@example.com
Kathryn Blackmer Reyes, Project Co-Director Director, AAACNA Studies Center - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, San José State University firstname.lastname@example.org
Fernando Perez, Project Co-Director Tulantl@gmail.com
Suzanne Guerra, Project Co-Director Independent Public Historian email@example.com