The Christian Science Monitor

Remember the Alamo? Why some Texans embrace a broader history.

Vincent Huizar stands in front of the Rose Window at Mission San José. He is a sixth-generation descendant of Pedro Huízar, who is believed to have sculpted the window, and an example of a diverse and complicated Texas history that experts say has until recently been minimized or ignored. Source: Henry Gass/The Christian Science Monitor

Growing up, Vincent Huizar never took much interest in Texas history. He flunked history class in high school, and while he knew his family had lived in the San Antonio area for centuries, he didn’t inquire any further until his son had children.

The third grandchild was born with light skin, light brown hair and hazel eyes, says Mr. Huizar, who has leathery brown skin and dark eyes. His son turned to him and asked a simple question: “Dad, what are we?”

The question launched a 17-year genealogical hunt that led Huizar to discover that he is a sixth-generation descendant of Pedro Huízar, a surveyor and craftsman from Spain who is credited by most for sculpting the iconic Rose Window at Mission San José, a UNESCO

More than 'cowboys and oil'A broader view'I had to teach myself'Signs of progress and empathy

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