Topeka

Felipe A Rangel


By Joshua Carniewski

Felipe Rangel was in the Korean War, was wounded, and lived to tell the tale. His memory isn't the best, but it's not because of the battle wounds.

Rangel was born in 1931 in Topeka, Kansas, and his childhood was like those of many others in the 1930's. He had seven brothers and six sisters, and he loved riding his bicycle and playing with his friends and brothers on the neighborhood street corners.

Mary Patricia Rangel


By Wes Hamilton

Mary Patricia Torrez Rangel knew there were places in Topeka, Kan., where Latinos were not allowed to go -- swimming pools, movie theaters, and restaurants. She simply refused to obey the restrictions.

“You know you have to speak up. I don’t like to be pushed around,” Rangel said.

Rangel is the daughter of Marcario Torrez and Guadalupe Thomasa Gutierrez de Torrez, both from Guanajuato, Mexico. Her father’s family came to Topeka in 1917 and worked for the Atchison Topeka Railroad company.

Guadalupe Martinez


By Andrea Carpena

CSU, Fullerton

For many Hispanics, the Vietnam War era often led to conflicts between their deep loyalty for the United States and the emerging civil rights movement in barrios across the country, even as the traditional roles were changing in Latino households.

Unlike many Mexican-American women during the 1960s, Guadalupe Martinez didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom, or clean houses and offices. She understood the importance of higher education and decided to pursue her dreams of becoming a legal assistant.