In the small town of Edna, Texas in 1951, a field hand named Pete Hernández killed a tenant farmer after exchanging words in a gritty cantina. From this seemingly unremarkable murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Americans. Soon to be a major motion picture from the studios of Eva Longoria, A Class Apart tells the little-known story of an underdog band of Mexican American lawyers who took their case, Hernandez v. Texas, all the way to the Supreme Court, where they challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans
In the landmark legal case, lawyers forged a daring legal strategy, arguing that Mexican Americans were “a class apart” and did not neatly fit into a legal structure that recognized only blacks and whites. As legal skirmishes unfolded, the lawyers emerged as brilliant, dedicated, humorous and at times terribly flawed men. This film dramatically interweaves the story of its central characters — activists and lawyers, returning veterans and ordinary citizens, murderer and victim — within the broader history of Latinos in America during a time of extraordinary change.
Produced and Directed by Carlos Sandoval & Peter Miller
Edited by Aaron Vega
Narrated by Edward James Olmos
Written by Carlos Sandoval
Associate Producer Michael Jordi Valdés
Director of Photography Allen Moore
Original Music by Steven Schoenberg
Executive Producer for ITVS Sally Jo Pfeiffer
Executive Producer for LPB Patricia Boero
Executive Producer for American Experience Mark Samels
A Class Apart is a co-production of Camino Bluff Productions, Inc. and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), for American Experience
Funding for A Class Apart provided by Houston Endowment, the Horace & Amy Hagedorn Foundation at the Long Island Community Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, Humanities Texas a State Partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Funding Exchange/Paul Robeson Fund for Independent Media, and our generous individual donors.