James L. Novarro Collection

Flyer for “La hora bautista”

We have big DH plans and lots on our to-do lists here at Recovery! I’m currently working on creating a list of US Latinx Digital Humanities Projects, as well as US Latinx digital humanists. (We’ve been brainstorming a few projects of our own that we will be working on as well, so stay tuned for those.) Right now, my DH list contains digital archives, digital art collections, and digital oral history projects. If you are working on a US Latinx digital humanities project, please share your link with us! We’d love to include yours on our list! And if you are a US Latinx digital humanist please reach out and network with us! You can find us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Or feel free to post a comment on this blog post!

I’m also working on the data curation of one of our collections, the James L. Novarro collection. Reverend Novarro,[1] a pastor of Houston’s Kashmere Baptist Temple and state chaplain of the Political Association of Spanish-speaking Organizations (P.A.S.O.), was a civil rights activist, LULAC member, editor of the Spanish-language newspaper El Sol, and host of the first Spanish-language and longest-running radio program, La hora bautista. Rev. Novarro, along with Father Antonio Gonzales (assistant pastor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Houston), marched together with hundreds of Chicanas and Chicanos during La Marcha, “a dramatic protest march staged by striking farmworkers from the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas to the state capitol in Austin during the summer of 1966” (Treviño 187-8). If you’re researching the Chicana/o movement in Houston, Mexican American religious communities, civil rights leaders, Spanish-language radio programming, Texas or Houston Mexican American communities, the Spanish-speaking Baptist community, etc. you will find a lot of material to work with in this collection!

Recovery’s James L. Novarro collection includes El Sol newspaper clippings, pamphlets, brochures, programs, flyers, booklets, photographs, committee hearings, membership lists, financial reports, handwritten notes, legal documents, business cards, song lyrics, and magazines. Please feel free to contact us if you’re interesting in researching this collection.


[1] In various publications, James L. Novarro is identified as Mexican American, however, his daughter-in-law wrote to us to point out that he was born in international waters to European parents on their way to the United States.

Works cited

Treviño, Roberto R. “The Church and the Chicano Movement.” The Church in the Barrio: Mexican American Ethni-Catholicism in Houston. University of North Carolina Press, 2006, pp. 176-206.

Lorena Gauthereau is a CLIR Postdoctoral Fellow at Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage at the University of Houston. Find her online at https://lorenagauthereau.wordpress.com.

4 thoughts on “James L. Novarro Collection

  1. Rev. James Navarro (it’s Novarro) was NOT MEXICAN-AMERICAN. I hope this helps with your research. He was born in international waters as his family was travelling from Europe as they were European. His father was from France, his mother was from Spain which is how he learned to speak Spanish. Feel free to contact me, I’m his daughter in-law.


    • Thank you for commenting! This is important information, especially since previous research and publications such as Roberto R. Treviño’s “The Church in the Barrio: Mexican American Ethni-Catholicism in Houston” (2006), “Catholicism in the American West” (2007), Guadalupe San Miguel’s “Brown, Not White: School Integration and the Chicano Movement in Houston,” (2001) and even the metadata for an interview conducted with him by the HMRC identify him as Mexican American.

      I assume this identification must be because of Rev. James Novarro’s deep committment to the Chicana/o Movement and Houston’s Mexican American community and his references in interviews to growing up in a Mexican American neighborhood in Ft. Worth. His dedication to civil rights for Mexican Americans made a huge impact, and the community obviously saw him as one of their own. Again, thanks for posting! I will add a footnote to the post.


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