Photographs of Josefina Fierro, 1903-1987. M0784

Finding aid prepared by Tim Noakes
Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Stanford University Libraries.
557 Escondido Mall
Stanford, California, 94305
Repository email: speccollref@stanford.edu
2009-7-6


Title: Josefina Fierro photographs
Identifier/Call Number: M0784
Contributing Institution: Dept. of Special Collections & University Archives
Language of Material: No_linguistic_content
Physical Description: 2.0 Linear feet (114 photographs housed in 1 manuscript box, 1 flat box)
Date (inclusive): 1903-1987
Abstract: Photographs of Josefina Fierro, a leader in the Mexican American community.
creator: Fierro, Josefina

Biography

Born in the border town of Mexicali, Baja California during the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution, Josefina Fierro was raised in a familial heritage of revolutionary activism. Her father was an officer in General Francisco "Pancho" Villa's northern revolutionary army, a fact that made him largely absent from her life. Raised by her mother, who separated from her husband and immigrated to the U.S. when Josefina was a baby, the language of revolution and social justice was a constant in her young life. Her mother's family was followers of Ricardo Flores Magon, a Mexican anarchist banished from Mexico for promoting radical reforms as part of his Partido Liberal Mexicano, a movement he continued while in exile on the U.S. side of the border. As a "Magonista," Josefina's mother taught her daughter to stand up for the underdog, to speak out against injustice, and to treat others with dignity and respect. It was no surprise that Josefina would eventually use this background as a basis for assuming leadership within the Mexican American community in California as she came of age.
Born in the border town of Mexicali, Baja California during the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution, Josefina Fierro was raised in a familial heritage of revolutionary activism. Her father was an officer in General Francisco "Pancho" Villa's northern revolutionary army, a fact that made him largely absent from her life. Raised by her mother, who separated from her husband and immigrated to the U.S. when Josefina was a baby, the language of revolution and social justice was a constant in her young life. Her mother's family was followers of Ricardo Flores Magon, a Mexican anarchist banished from Mexico for promoting radical reforms as part of his Partido Liberal Mexicano, a movement he continued while in exile on the U.S. side of the border. As a "Magonista," Josefina's mother taught her daughter to stand up for the underdog, to speak out against injustice, and to treat others with dignity and respect. It was no surprise that Josefina would eventually use this background as a basis for assuming leadership within the Mexican American community in California as she came of age.
Josefina's successful organizing efforts and her emergence as a key leader in the Los Angeles Mexican community attracted the attention of Latino leaders, especially Luisa Moreno, who were preparing to launch the first-ever national Latino civil rights organization, the Congress of Spanish-Speaking People. The Congress was founded in Los Angeles in 1939, and young Josefina was elected national secretary, the second highest ranking position in the organization. For the next several years, she and her colleagues led a broad-based civil rights movement for Mexican Americans and other Latinos in California and in the Southwest. A fiery orator who could captivate an audience, Josefina traveled throughout California to participate in various demonstrations and activities aimed at bringing down the walls of discrimination against Mexicans in housing, employment, education, and other public places. She played an instrumental role, in addition, on the defense committee of the infamous "Sleepy Lagoon Case" in war-time Los Angeles (a murder trial involving several Mexican American youth accused and sentenced to prison for a crime they did not commit). The Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee eventually won the release of the defendants from state prison two years after the original convictions. A year later, in June 1943, Josefina almost single-handedly brought an end to the days of rage and physical assault on Mexican Americans in downtown and in East Los Angeles during the so-called "Zoot Suit Riots." With the L.A.P.D. unwilling to stop the brutality in the streets against Mexican American youth, Josefina flew to Washington, D.C. with a Mexican consulate official to prevail upon the Vice-President of the United States, Henry Wallace, to help bring an end to the violence unleashed against her community. Convinced by her graphic, first-hand stories about the beatings of Mexican Americans by servicemen, buttressed by an armful of newspapers she carried with sensational headlines about the riots, Wallace secured a military order that restricted all service personnel to their respective bases until order was restored.
As Josefina's efforts to advocate for Mexican Americans attracted more notice, she was labeled as a "communist subversive" by the California Committee on UnAmerican Activities. After her divorce from John Bright, she returned to Madera where she organized on behalf of Henry Wallace's Independent Progressive party. By 1948, after being hounded by the FBI and fearing arrest and deportation, she decided to leave the United States and head to Hermosillo, the Mexican port city where she lived the rest of her life.
As Josefina's efforts to advocate for Mexican Americans attracted more notice, she was labeled as a "communist subversive" by the California Committee on UnAmerican Activities. After her divorce from John Bright, she returned to Madera where she organized on behalf of Henry Wallace's Independent Progressive party. By 1948, after being hounded by the FBI and fearing arrest and deportation, she decided to leave the United States and head to Hermosillo, the Mexican port city where she lived the rest of her life.

Arrangement note

The collection is arranged in chronologically.

Related Collection

See M0811 for interviews of Josefina Fierro by Dr. Albert M. Camarillo, Professor of History, Stanford University.

Acquisition Information

This collection was given by the donor to Stanford University, Special Collections in March 1995.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94304-6064. Consent is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner, heir(s) or assigns. See: http://library.stanford.edu/depts/spc/pubserv/permissions.html.
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Labor history
Mexican American women
Mexican Americans--Biography
Photoprints.

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Florence, Arizona, 1917, restaurant scene with three women, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Brothers of Arturo Arancibia, before Josefa (mother) married him. Cowboy theme/photo of three men, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

No description on back. High quality portrait of a young woman with short hair and necklace emblem, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

No description on back. Lightly printed or fading. Photo of a young woman standing holding an umbrella, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Mandera ranch, Josefina (right) school teacher (middle) brother (far left) and mother, car behind family, ca. 1930

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefina and Jocabo (cousin) Florence, Arizona, 1919

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Portrait of three children, boy, young girl, and young Josefina? (On back: ?,?, Josefina?)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Sonora Enro 23-20 Arizona, portrait of a man legs crossed, postcard, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Brothers of Arturo Arancibia, before Josefa (mother) married him. Cowboy theme/photo of three men, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Father and mother, Francisco Borboa, Fierro, posed with car and child under car, ca. 1920

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Florence, Josefina Fierro, Miss Rosalia Amador, ca. 1918 12. Paul and Josefina Fierro, Florence, Arizona, Age 6 and 7

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefina, 2 years old, Nana, postcard addressed to Roberto Amador, Calexico, CA April 22, 1922

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

"Josefina's only photograph of her father" postcard; signed Rosa, Calexico, CA, July 8, 1914

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Luis and Elisa Amador (wife) Guaymas, Mexico, 1916

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Paul Borva Fierro, Los Angeles, CA, postcard; Paul on front of photo ca. 1915

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Don Neiro (half-brother), Mother, Sister Maura, 1910

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Aunt Delz and Arthur at ranch in madders, California, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Araniclerita Brothers, Mother's husband, Arthur Aranubia? 1956

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefa's brother, ca. 1920-1927

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Mother and Arthur, early 1930's

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Family at ranch, ca. 1930

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefa, Josefina's mother (?) 26 yrs. old, Santa Monica, CA, in a Gypsy outfit

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Paul and Josefina Fierro, Florence, Arizona, Age 6 and 7, ca.1920

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Benito Amador, postcard 1920: "Brother / Composer"

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefa Amador and Roberto Amador, ca. 1912

Graphic materials 1, Folder 1

Josefina, Guaymas, Mexico, December 29, 1926

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De Bright, portrait, Bar Music, Hollywood, ca. 1946

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina 20 Birthday, John De Bright, la Bamba Night Club, Olvera Street, Los Angeles, 1931, photo by: Hal Marty

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina 21st Birthday with husband, John DeBright, photo by Hal Marty, Hollywood, CA, ca.1935

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina (right) John De Bright (center) with Florence Hamolka, New York City, 1948, photo by: Ivan Black, on backside: Barney Josephson, Cafe Society Downtown 7/13/48

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De Bright, Red Cross, New York City, 1939-1940

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De Bright, in car, photo by Irving Lippman, 1930

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De bright and Anne Sheridan, photo by Madison Lacy, 1939

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina (right) with sailors (brother's good friend) and mother, Los Angeles, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De Bright, portrait, U.S. Coast Guard, 3rd Naval District, written on front side "In devotion and love (and some sympathy)"

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

John De Bright, Red Cross, 1941-1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina portrait, Los Angeles, 1938

Graphic materials 1, Folder 2

Josefina (right) John De Bright (center) with Florence Hamolka, New York City, 1948, photo by: Ivan Black. (on backside: Barney Josephson, Cafe Society Downtown 7/13/48)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Jack Carter with Josefina, Palm Springs, 1939 2) Josefina, Palm Springs, 1939

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, glamour portrait, New York City, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, portrait, Los Angeles, photo by Florence Homolka, 1940

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, New York, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, Los Angeles, 1940

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, Los Angeles, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, 1940, on backside "Rushmore suggests this"

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, Los Angeles, 1940

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, New York, 1942

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina, 1940, photo by: Florence Homolka

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Home of where Josefina was born. ca. 1947, San Joredel Cabo, B.C.(?)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Pete Daniels, wedding night, ca.1947: dinner at Sinaloa, San Francisco, CA. with Pete's daughters, Marty and Maggie

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Peter Daniel and Josefina, San Francisco, 1948

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Peter Daniel and Josefina, San Francisco, 1948 (on back written Guaymas '1950)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Mother: Josefa Arancibia and Richard Daniel (adopted son of Josefina)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Hollywood Ten, 1950, John De Bright (right), Mexico City, Pete Daniel (left)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina and John De Bright, 2nd marriage, ca.1935

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina (right profile portrait) Los Angeles, 193921) Josefina (left profile portrait) 1940

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Eva Garza (comadre) photo by: Annemarie Heinrich, 1939

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

John De Bright and Josefina (right of frame) group portrait on canal, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Olachea family, Josefina (upper left) 1948

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

No description on back, possibly a young Pete Daniel(?) holding a rooster

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina on ice skates, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina with friend, ice sailboat, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina at the ranch with friend in Madera, 1932

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina with small boy, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina eating a hotdog. Roseluta Beach, September, 1937

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina (right) with two women, Los Angeles, 1937

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Mercedes Vda Arguello, 1930

Graphic materials 1, Folder 3

Josefina on shoreline, college days, Santa Monica Beach, 1931

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Paul Fierro, 1938

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Paul (Pablo) Fierro, Los Angeles, photo by Mark Studio

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Mama, 1940's

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Paul Fierro and Mae West, 1937, studio shot, Title of film "She Done Him Wrong"

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Photo by Charles Schneider, Two men, 1936

Graphic materials 1, Folder 4

Photo of three men with guitars, two women, one man in center, restaurant scene, 1936

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

El dia de Gracias, 1987

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina and adopted daughter, Lisa, at Las Planitas, Feb, 1967

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Morin Senato, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Aunt rela Salome cousin, ca.1990

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Prime Salome Phillip, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Interparliamentary Convention, Gov. Alex Camarillo Macca, ca. 1977

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Bruce Babbitt, Gov. of Arizona, Alex Carrillo Maun, Gov. of Sonora Oscarvilloa (left center), ca.1982-1983

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Richard Rice Daniels, college days, Juarez, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Card for death of adopted son, ca. 1968

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

No description on back, Josefina with young girl, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Ano, Women of the Year, Josefina with flowers (center) 1994

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

No description on back family portrait, all women, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

No description on back Josefina with two women, dressed in traditional clothing for carnival, no date (1980?)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina with her mother, Josefa, ca.l977

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina seated on camel, Africa, 1973

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

No description on back, family portrait outside mother seated in middle, four women, Josefina, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josephina's mother 80 yrs old, Guaymas, Mexico

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Guaymas, Carnival parade, floats, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Guaymas, Carnival parade, floats, stamp on back: Randy Terrey 1605 Woodbury Drive, Harbor City, CA 90710, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Postcard of San Jose Del Cabo

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Picture of the harbor, no date (3 items)

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina with male friend at the Taberna Del Greco, mid 1970's?

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Pete Daniels, wedding night, ca.1947: dinner at Sinaloa, San Francisco, CA. with Pete's daughters, Marty and Maggie

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina and Pete Daniels, possible restaurant opening? no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Josefina at La Fonda de Recunerdo, same male friend from "Taberna Del Greco" photo to left of frame, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

"About a month before we opened the restaurant". Photo of a harbor with mountains in background, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Family portrait, Josefina (top left) Pete Daniels (top right) young family below, no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 5

Caterdral de Barcelona ESPANA (on front) group portrait, Josefina (in lower center of frame) no date

Graphic materials 1, Folder 6

Plate photo, Mother's family, Amadoir, 1903

Graphic materials 1, Folder 6

Print from plate, Mother's family, Amadoir, 1903

Graphic materials 2, Folder 1

Josefina, 11 years old, grammar school, ca-1923

Graphic materials 2, Folder 1

Josefina, portrait, photo by Florence Homolka, Los Angeles, 1942 (2 photos)

Graphic materials 2, Folder 2

Josefina, Pete Daniels, Josefa Arancibia, Josefa, at the Capri restaurant, Mexico City, 1950

Graphic materials 2, Folder 2

Josefina, portrait with flowers, Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico, photo by Arturo Petsch (written on backside "with love"), 1971