Photo by John Gilhooley Irene, at right, with sister Maria Theresa holding an album about their father's discrimination lawsuit
Yesterday, I spoke at the Brea Rotary Club, and a gentleman asked me who I thought was the most influential Mexican in OC history. Without hesitation, I replied "Alex Bernal," the Fullerton resident whose successful defense in 1943 against his racist gabacho neighbors who said their neighborhood was whites-only not only set a precedent in American housing rights, but also set the course for multiple anti-segregation lawsuits.
Bernal was on my mind that day, and not necessarily for good reasons. This past Monday, his daughter Irene passed away from cancer. She was 78.More »