María Rebecca Latigo de Hernández was a Mexican-American rights activist, and the first female Mexican-American to work as a radio broadcaster. Image: Google

Again, Google is replacing its homepage logo with a “Google Doodle,” a drawing that brings attention to an under-appreciated figure in history.

Today, for María Rebecca Latigo de Hernández’s 122nd birthday, we learn about this important Mexican-American civil rights activist.

María, along with her husband, Pedro Hernandez Barrera, founded Orden Caballeros de America in 1929, and through the 1930s, she used that vehicle to publicly demonstrate on behalf of Mexican Americans about their education in the United States.

Maria was born in San Pedro Garza García, Mexico, in 1896. She taught in elementary school in Monterrey, Mexico, until the chaos of the Mexican Revolution drove her to Texas along with thousands of others.

In 1915, she married Pedro Hernandez Barrera in Hebbronville, Texas. Both moved to San Antonio in 1918, where they opened a grocery store and bakery, and set about raising their own family.

The couple was quite active in their fight for community rights and eventually became politically active.

In Latigo de Hernández’s 1945 essay, “México y Los Cuatro Poderes Que Dirigén al Pueblo,” she stated that the mothers were the authority figures who shaped nations.

María was also a talented orator, and she became San Antonio’s first Mexican American female radio announcer and spent much of the rest of her life speaking up against injustice and inequality across both the Mexican and black communities.

By 1968, she was a regular guest on San Antonio television, informing the public about education and social progress. In 1970, she grew her political activities by joining the Raza Unida Party, serving as a keynote speaker at party’s statewide conference in Austin.

Latigo de Hernández died from pneumonia in 1986 and is buried in the plot of the Orden Caballeros de América outside Elmendorf, Texas.