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An Interview With Asencion Hernandez
Not available online
TitleAn Interview With Asencion Hernandez
AbstractInterviewer: Irene Ruiz. Interview recorded December 22, 1977. 1 sound cassette (ca. 90 minutes): analog, stereo.; 5 7/8 x 2 1/2 in., 1/8 in. tape; 1 sound disc; digital; 4 3/4 in. Has typed guide to contents.
NotesMr. Hernandez was born in Topeka, Kansas on May 26, 1938. He was trained and educated as a social worker. In the interview, he discusses his early life, educational endeavors, involvement in Hispanic organizations both national and local, etc.

Number 18 on MP3 disc.
Date1977-12-22
LocationSC69-1, Tape 21, CD 21
Local SubjectHispanic Americans
Social Workers
Oral History
Hernandez, Asencion
Item TypeArchival Material
TranscriptionSynopsis of Interview:

Mr. Hernandez was born in Topeka, Kansas on May 26, 1938. He was brought up in a "neutral", or integrated neighborhood, sandwiched between two all-Mexican-American neighborhoods. His mother was born in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. His father, a shoemaker by trade, was born in Leon Guanajuato. He was raised in a traditional Mexican-American community, typical of those which sprung up along the railroad tracks. His father came to the U.S. in the 1910s, first to work in the beet fields, and then on the Santa Fe Railroad. He worked his way up to freight car body builder and mechanic. His mother was a traditional homemaker. She bore 9 children--6 boys and 3 girls.

He attended an all Mexican-American Catholic grade school and graduated in 1956 from Hayden (Catholic) High. His parents expected him to work on the railroad. He entered the Marine Corps for 2 years. He recalls the Catholic Church as a meeting place for Mexican-Americans in Topeka. The church held regular "Jamaicas", or bazaars. Vague memories of WWII. His family was forced to evacuate their home during the Kansas River flood of 1951, but they returned soon afterwards.

A high school friend suggested he enter Washburn College to play on their football team. He put himself through Washburn in 5 years, working nights as a child care worker, solidifying an innate desire to work with people. He received a Bachelor's of Education degree in 1963 and taught emotionally disturbed children. He attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles from 1965-1967 and received an MA in social work. He worked 2 years as a psychiatric social worker in a state hospital, then in an educational training program in East Los Angeles.

Involvement in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). He returned to Kansas City and took a job with HEW. He helped organize LULAC in Kansas. He is a member of the National Association for Social Workers and Trabajadores de la Raza, a professional organization for Chicano social workers. Involvement in IMAGE or Incorporated Mexican-American Government Employees and other Mexican-American groups. Mr. Hernandez is a social planner for the federally-funded National Chicano Social Planning Counsel.

He married a Mexican-American from Topeka and has 4 children. He recalls the influence of his high school coach and parents in helping him succeed. He relates numerous professional achievements, including establishing a national conference for Spanish-speaking elderly, manpower training programs, and a migrant health clinic. His future plans are to advocate changes in the system to aid Mexican-Americans.
Access This ItemYou may come to the Missouri Valley Room to listen to the interview.
Item ID210307
CONTENTdm number36338
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