Journalists have the power to change the way the world views something. A powerful female journalist you might not know about is Jovita Idar, and it’s time she earned a little more recognition.
Jovita was born in Laredo, Texas, in 1885. She was one of seven children, and her parents were big advocates for Mexican-American civil rights. Jovita’s father owned and published a Spanish newspaper called La Crónica.
Her parents were adamant about her getting an education, so Jovita attended a Methodist school called the Holding Institute. She received her teaching certificate in 1903 and began teaching in Los Ojuelos, Texas.
While teaching in the small community, mainly composed of Mexican-American families, Jovita was displeased with the poor conditions its residents had to live in.
Wanting to bring awareness to the mistreatment of these families, Jovita decided to leave teaching to join her family and write for La Crónica.
The stories written for La Crónicawere mainly focused on promoting civil rights and fair treatment for people in Hispanic communities. Many of the pieces focused on anti-racism, school segregation, etc.
Jovita used a pseudonym when she wrote for the paper and wrote many in-depth stories about Mexican-Americans’ poor living conditions in local communities, the lack of education for Hispanic children, and eventually began writing about women’s suffrage.
In 1911, using their paper, Jovita and her family decided to organize and promote El Primer Congreso Mexicanista (the First Mexican Congress) to rally Mexicans to fight against injustice.
That same year, Jovita founded the feminist group La Liga Feminil Mexicaista (the League of Mexican Women), which encouraged local Mexican women to break out of social norms, get themselves a proper education, and begin advocating for their rights.