San Antonio/ Community & Society
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Published on March 21, 2024
San Antonio Honors Civil Rights Icon Jovita Idár with Festivities and Commemorative Quarter ReleaseSource: Facebook/San Anto Cultural Arts

San Antonio is paying homage to legendary civil rights figure and journalist Jovita Idár with a mix of dance, art, and commemorative events. The weekend's highlights include the release of her namesake quarter and the unveiling of a mural in her honor, along with educational discussions about her contributions to the Mexican-American rights movement.

Idár, renowned for her bold stance against discrimination and her advocacy for Mexican-American rights, is now immortalized in the city's landscape with a street named after her. The Mexican American Civil Rights Institute's director, Sarah Gould, encapsulated the sentiment, "San Antonio is the cradle of Mexican American civil rights history nationally. We want to expand what people associate with San Antonio," as San Antonio Report reported. The city has plans to honor at least two dozen more Mexican American civil rights activists with similar memorial designations.

The coin featuring Idár is the second to spotlight a Latina in the American Women Quarters series, celebrating her legacy as a bilingual educator, nurse, and the political maven who famously defied the Texas Rangers, defending the freedom of the press in Laredo. Idár continued her work as a journalist in both San Antonio and Laredo, driving change through her writings in La Prensa, El Heraldo Cristiano, and her own publication, La Evolución.

UGould also highlighted the need for public recognition beyond formal designations, explaining, "if you don't know who Jovita Idár is, then even when you see that memorial designation sign, it may not mean anything to you. So having a mural is a way of adding a visual narrative to the landscape." This weekend's unveiling of the mural, located at the corner of Frio and Robert B. Green Way, serves precisely that purpose, as chronicled by the Texas Public Radio.

The spirited memorial events reveal the kindling of Idár's pioneering spirit in contemporary San Antonio. Gould affirmed to San Antonio Report, "She is part of a long line of women advocating for their community, and her life story connects to multiple civil rights issues that Mexican-Americans in San Antonio and [people] all along the borderlands experienced." Jovita Idár's impact on the community and her assertive legacy in advocating for equality continues to resonate today.