A believer in education, José de la Luz Sáenz became an elementary school teacher and taught Mexican-American children in segregated shacks, known as “Mexican Schools” in Texas. In the evenings, he taught English literacy to adults. At the outbreak of WWI, José de la Luz was called to serve in the US Army. Upon his return, he concluded that dismantling white supremacy culture demanded more than just teaching. He and other Mexican-American civil rights leaders wrote articles and gave public talks throughout Texas to encourage Mexican-Americans to organize. In 1929, they created the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the US.
José de la Luz’s commitment and that of other Mexican-American activists’ to education and social justice lives on in children's books. Elementary school students can now read and learn about his and other Mexican-American activists’ fight for equality.