Written by Teresa Palomo Acosta
Read by Sara Hickman
Alice Dickerson Montemayor was born in Laredo in 1902. A women’s rights supporter and folk artist, she was the first woman to hold a national position in the League of United Latin American citizens, or LULAC, that was not reserved for a woman. The nation’s oldest and largest Mexican American civil rights organization, LULAC was founded in 1929 but remained slow to accept female leadership. Montemayor became the "second national vice president general" in 1937.
She also wrote the first charter for Junior LULAC and served as its president general. She set up a co-ed Junior LULAC as an example to older members of gender equality, and by 1940, she was associate editor for LULAC News, the group’s primary publication.
Montemayor advocated empowerment for women, speaking out publicly in support of women’s political roles. In a 1937 article for LULAC News, she called for women to support other women, and in a strongly worded 1938 editorial called "Son Muy Hombres?" (or "Are Men Strong?"), she rejected male superiority.
Montemayor later became a respected folk artist (painting with acrylics on tin and masonite) who signed her brightly colored works "Admonty." Creating still life and landscapes, she depicted women and nature, often extending a painting onto its frame. She exhibited her work in Texas, Illinois, California, and Mexico. In 1988, both LULAC and the Smithsonian honored her. Montemayor died in 1989 in Laredo.
Cynthia E. Orozco, "MONTEMAYOR, ALICE DICKERSON," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmobl)
Audio Source Information
Our project, "Texas Women's History Moments," received the 2012 National Council on Public History Outstanding Public History Award and the American Association for State and Local History Leadership in History Award. The audio clips were broadcast on KUT radio from 2011-2016 during Women’s History Month.