At the NAACP annual convention in Houston three years ago, Hector Flores, the newly elected national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, led delegates in rousing chants of “Viva NAACP!” and “Viva LULAC!”
A few weeks earlier, at the annual meeting of LULAC, also in Houston, Latino leaders gave the group’s highest award to pioneer activist Howard Jefferson, then president of the Houston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Both events were unprecedented. But for the two granddaddies of civil rights organizations, they also went far beyond the obvious symbolism. The occasions marked a growing awareness between the two groups that they are stronger united than they are divided.
The groups took the idea further on Monday in Austin, when LULAC state director Roger Rocha and Texas NAACP President Gary Bledsoe stood side by side on the steps of the Capitol during a rally with 100 members of their organizations.
“We are here together as two organizations, fighting as one,” said Rocha. “Everything we’ve worked so hard for will not go silently into the night.”