Velasquez, Belen 1989-04-19

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Belén Velásquez talks about her life in Lubbock and why her family moved to the United States. She also talks about family, education, labor, and discrimination in Lubbock. Note - There is a continuation of this interview with Belén Velásquez’s husband, Alfredo Velásquez.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: Belen Velasquez

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: April 19, 1989

Location: Lubbock, Texas

Interviewer: Yolanda Romero



Tape 1, Side 1: Family; They moved to Lubbock in 1932, she was two years old; They lived four years in Ropesville; Her parents were born in Tamaulipas, Mexico; Her parents came to the United States during the Mexican Revolution; Her parents worked harvesting fields; She has a brother; Her father worked as a construction worker at the WPA (Works Progress Administration); Her father was fired from WPA because he wasn’t an American citizen ; Mexicans in Lubbock; She said that when they arrived to Lubbock there were very few Mexican families in the barrio (Mexican neighborhood); Mexicans stayed in Lubbock because there was a lot of work in the fields; Her family lived in Camp Wood Texas before moving to Lubbock; Velásquez Belén; Was born in 1929; Education; She went to school until fourth grade in Lubbock; She went to school until eight grade in Ropesville; Discrimination; Restaurants had the sign of “whites only”; Mexicans were not allowed at Lindsey Theater; Occupation; She worked harvesting fields; The working day was of 10 hours, 50 cents per hour; She began working when she was 12 years old; She worked harvesting fields for four years; Harvesting fields; To pick cotton workers wore pants, short; gloves, a hat or garzoles; Workers worked from Monday to Friday; Other occupations; She worked at Lubbock Laundry; She worked at Clery Poultry; 200 women worked at Clery Poultry, most of them were Mexicans; She said that there wasn’t discrimination in Clery Poultry; She worked at Clery Poultry 3 years.
Tape 1, Side 2: Harvesting fields; She said that they only went to school five months in a year, once the harvesting finished; Cleaning cotton was paid per hour, harvesting was paid by pound of cotton; Truck drivers took workers to the harvest fields and paid them. The fields’ owners paid truck drivers; Alfredo Velásquez (husband); He moved from Cameron to Lubbock when he was 17 years old; He worked at the Grety Lumber Company. He was paid 75 cents per hour; He worked unloading wood at the Edgy Wip Lumber Company.

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Access Information

Original Recording Format: audio cassette

Recording Format Notes: original recording digitized, CD copy available in Reading Room

Transcript: Spanish and English draft transcripts available in Reading Room

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