In 1951 in the town of Edna, Texas, a field hand named Pedro Hernández murdered his employer after exchanging words at a gritty cantina. From this seemingly unremarkable small-town murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Americans.
A team of unknown Mexican American lawyers took the case, Hernandez v. Texas, all the way to the Supreme Court, where they successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.
AMERICAN EXPERIENCE presents A Class Apart: The one-hour film dramatically interweaves the story of its central characters— activists and lawyers, returning veterans and ordinary citizens, murderer, and victim — within the broader story of a civil rights movement that is still very much alive today.
You can watch it online here.