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Castro, Sal (25 October 1933–15 April 2013), high school teacher and community activist, was born Salvador Castro in Los Angeles, the only child of Carmen Buruel and Salvador Castro, both Mexican immigrant workers. Because his father was undocumented he was deported in 1935 as part of a repatriation movement that blamed Mexican immigrants for taking jobs from “real Americans” during the Great Depression; Castro and his mother were spared being part of this tragic episode. The separation eventually led to his parents divorcing; his mother later remarried....


Catto, Octavius Valentine (22 Feb. 1839–10 Oct. 1871), civil rights activist, educator, and athlete, was born to William T. Catto and Sarah Isabella Cain in Charleston, South Carolina. His family soon moved to Baltimore, Maryland and ultimately settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Catto’s father, a former slave who gained his freedom early in life, became an ordained Presbyterian minister. His mother came from a mulatto family. Catto attended segregated primary classes at the Vaux Primary School and the Lombard Street School in Philadelphia and the prestigious Allentown Academy in Allentown, New Jersey. In ...


Portrait of Octavius V. Catto, c.1871, by S. Fox

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-18480]


Horton, Myles (9 July 1905–19 Jan. 1990), co-founder of the Highlander School, educator and activist in the labor and civil rights movements, was born Myles Falls Horton in Savannah, Tennessee, the eldest son of Elsie Falls Horton and Perry Horton. Both parents were schoolteachers prior to Horton’s birth, but lost their jobs when the qualifications to teach were increased to include a year of high school, which neither of them possessed. After a number of years of low-paying jobs, Horton’s father became an active participant in the Worker’s Alliance, the union of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), while Horton’s mother volunteered to teach literacy in the community. Horton later said that he took from his mother a belief in the power of love, “the principle of trying to serve people and build a loving world” (Horton, p. 7). These lessons in working for the greater good of society would serve as the guiding force throughout his life....