In 2006 Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin (TGSA) members recognized that little was being written about Tejanos and their contributions to Texas and U.S. history.They established an award that would: (1) give Tejano Heritage books greater recognition from historians, scholars, academicians, film, television, and multimedia communities; and (2) put such published books in the spotlight and bring attention to Tejano Heritage, history and contributions. This project was named the Clotilde P. Garcia Tejano Book Prize Award ( known as Tejano Book Award) in honor of Dr. Clotilde Perez Garcia from Corpus Christi, Texas.
Each year since then, an author whose book focuses on Tejano heritage, history, and contributions has been awarded a sum of $1,000.00, and recognized at the annual State Hispanic Genealogical Conference. TGSA also assists the winner in a book-signing session at the Conference.
This process begins months before the Conference when publishing companies are notified of the contest and asked to submit books which they believe qualify for the Award. The books are sent to a three-judge panel for selection. Based on criteria provided by TGSA, the judges select the book to be honored. This panel of three judges selected by TGSA is comprised of university professors, historians, and /or authors. Aside from the $1,000, the winning author also gets a free one night stay at the host hotel and two free tickets to the State Conference banquet.
Honoree Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia
As was mentioned, the Tejano Book Award was named in honor and memory of Clotilde P. Garcia, M.D. Dr. Cleo, as she was known, was not only a physician, but a civic leader, activists, historian, genealogist, author and mother. She was author of numerous books on South Texas history, such as Captain Enrique Villarreal and Rincón del Oso Land Grant; Padre José Nicolas Ballí and Padre Island; and Captain Blas María de la Garza Falcón: Colonizer of South Texas. She contributed numerous articles to the Texas State Historical Association; many are now available online in the Handbook of Texas. She was a long-time member of the Del Mar Community College Board of Regents. In 1984 she was inducted into the Texas Women Hall of Fame. In 1987, recognizing a need to promote, collect and develop genealogical research, she founded the Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA) and served as its president. In 1990 she received Spain’s Royal American Order of Isabella the Catholic.
Dr. Cleo was born on January 11, 1917 to school teachers, Jose Garcia and Faustina Perez Garcia. Dr. Garcia was a graduate of the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, TX. (1954) and practiced medicine in Corpus Christi, Texas. Dr. Garcia was the sister of civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia, who founded the American G.I. Forum in 1948, as well as the sister of Dr. C.P. Garcia, Dr. Xico Garcia, Dr. Dalia Garcia and Emilia Garcia Garza. Her son J.A. “Tony” Canales, Attorney-at-Law, resides in Corpus Christi, TX. “Dr. Cleo”, as she was fondly known, retired in 1994 after delivering 10,000 babies. She inspired and facilitated many Hispanics to research, study and preserve their ancestry. She passed away on May 27, 2003.
Members Choice Award
In 2015 TGSA saw a need to honor self-published works like books and journals focusing on Tejano history, heritage and contributions. This new contest, the Members Choice Award, has it's own set of criteria and judges. Publishing companies and self-published authors are sent information detailing the contest, criteria to be used, and deadlines for submitting entries. Judges, selected by the TGSA book prize committee, read the entries and select the winner.
As with the Tejano Book Prize winner, the Members' Choice award winner is announced and honored at an annual State Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference.