Jovita Idar grew up in Laredo, one of eight children of parents who published La Crónica, a Spanish-language newspaper that exposed segregation, lynching and other injustices endured by Mexican Texans in the early 20th century.
In 1911, Idar and her family organized the Congreso Mexicanista, a convention to discuss racism, the need for teaching Spanish in schools, women’s rights, and protecting the lives and property of Tejanos. One result was the creation of the League of Mexican Women, which was probably the first attempt in Mexican-American history to form a feminist social movement.
In 1913, during the Mexican Revolution, Idar traveled with revolutionary forces as a nurse. Later, when she wrote an editorial for the newspaper El Progresso protesting the presence of U.S. troops on the border, she stood in the newspaper’s doorway to stop Texas Rangers from shutting it down. They eventually did, however, and Idar returned to run La Crónica after her father’s death in 1914.
This month, KUT is partnering with the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation to celebrate Women's History Month. Every day, we'll bring you a short feature spotlighting a historic woman, movement, or group of women in Texas.