Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections

To Governor Coke Stevenson, Executive Department, From Lorenzo G. Lafarelle, Alphine, Texas, September 30, 1943.



Dublin Core


To Governor Coke Stevenson, Executive Department, From Lorenzo G. Lafarelle, Alphine, Texas, September 30, 1943.


RACE discrimination - public establishments
STEVENSON, Coke R. (Coke Robert), 1888-1975
LATIN Americans
MILITARY Personnel
TEXAS. Good Neighbor Commission
TEXAS State Guard
GRANADA Theatres Ltd.


Letter to Governor Coke Stevenson from Lorenzo G. Lafarelle, submitting a formal complaint of racial discrimination by Mr. C.W. Davis. manager for a movie theater establishment in Alpine Texas. Mr. Lafarelle is a Sergeant in the Texas State Guard and demands an apology from Mr. C.W. Davis and requests that the Governor provide information regarding the outcome of the complaint. Good Neighbor Commission is referenced.


Lafarelle, Lorenzo G.





Content compilation of The Latino/Hispanic American Experience Leaders, Writers and Thinkers copyright 2012 by Arte Publico Historical Collections. All rights reserved.














Alpine, Texas [From]
September 30, 1943

Governor Coke Stevenson [To]
Executive Department
Austin, Texas

Dear Sir:

Knowing very well your sincere desire to help eliminate the racial discrimination and prejudice that some Anglo Americans exercise against the Latin American people, and knowing of HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 105 passed on the 25th day of June, A.D., 1943, as also of your OPEN LETTER TO PEACE OFFICERS IN TEXAS, I, LORENZO G. LAFARELLE, formally file a complaint to you and the GOOD NEIGHBOR COMMISSION against Mr. C.W. Davis, Manager of the GRANADA THEATRE in Alpine, for the following discriminatory incident which happened to me, personally, at that theatre, on Wednesday night, September 15, 1943.

I invited two Latin American girls (college students) to the picture show, at the local theatre. They accepted my invitation. We approached the Box Office, at the theatre, and I asked for three downstairs tickets. The ticket girl, her name being Emy Lou Harris, refused to sell them to me. I asked her the reason for her refusal to see me downstairs tickets. She said that she had orders from the manager, Mr. C, W, Davis, not to sell downstairs tickers to any Latin American. She told me that I could have balcony tickets, but not downstairs tickets. I demanded to see Mr. Davis about the matter and get an explanation from him as to the reason for this action, but I was told that he was out of town. After I had left the girls at the Dormitory, I contacted the boy that was receiving the tickets that night, his name being Billie Weston, and tried to confirm from him the box office girl’s assertions as to the orders she had received from the manager, He asserted Miss Harris’ statements. He said they had orders not to sell downstairs tickets or let any Latin Americans go downstairs.

Now, I ask you. Is this racial discrimination? Of course, it is. Any person who can think can see in this action a clear and unjust case of racial discrimination. The only reason why I was refused the tickets was that I am a Latin American. Then why, I ask you, is a Latin American expected to fight against Hitler’s and the Japs’ ideas of a superior race, when he sees those principles against which we are fighting practiced against him by many Anglo Americans; even here at home? I want a sound, intelligent, and logical explanation for that.

It is unbelievable that such conditions exist in our country, where we proclaim liberty and justice for all. In my opinion nothing could be more Un-Christian and Un-American.

It is very strange that our Anglo American brothers who sympathize so much with the oppressed peoples of Europe and Asia, and so strongly condemn their oppressors, persecute a people at home, who loyalty has never been questioned, who have always treated them with the utmost courtesy, who have ever been ready to meet them half-way.

I am a young man of 19 years of age, born here in Alpine, and a Sergeant in the Texas State Guard. My brother, Gonzalo G. Lafarelle, was up until his induction into the Army of the United States, a 2nd Lieutenant in Co. A., 3rd Bn., Texas State Guard.

Incidents like the one I cite above have been contributing greatly to lower the spirit of our people as well as our fighting men. Such incidents are a crime against American democracy and equality. They put Texas in a low status as a civilized state.

I demand an apology from Mr. C.W. Davis, for such a discriminatory and shameful act, and ask as a citizen of the Untied States and of Texas that such discriminatory acts against our people be discontinued. I want him to apologize, if he is enough of a gentleman, to those girls which were in my company when I was refused downstairs tickets at the theatre.

I also demand that it may be known to me the outcome of this complaint, and of your and GOOD NEIGHBOR COMMISSION’S dealings with Mr. C.W. Davis regarding this matter.

Thank you in advance for your interest on this particular, and expecting to have a favorable reply from you very soon, I remain

Respectfully yours,
Lorenzo G. Lafarelle

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Personal Collection


Lafarelle, Lorenzo G., “To Governor Coke Stevenson, Executive Department, From Lorenzo G. Lafarelle, Alphine, Texas, September 30, 1943.,” Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Digital Collections, accessed April 23, 2024,