Volume 6, Issue 1 University of Houston
UH's Ramos appears in new Alamo documentary
By Dusti Rhodes
The Battle of the Alamo is a part of Texas history filled with bravery and loyalty, but also shrouded in myth. Although it's difficult to find a Texan who does not know a thing or two about the conflict, it is more difficult to find one who knows the facts.
A new History Channel documentary, Remember the Alamo attempts to give a factual depiction of the famous battle. Raul Ramos, an assistant history professor at UH, is one of the Alamo experts featured on the program.
"A lot of the things I comment on are about the Mexican Texans," Ramos, a San Antonio native who is writing a social history of the Mexican community in Texas, said.
Ramos said his interest is focused on the effects the Alamo battle had on Mexican and Tejano populations in Texas. He said the battle was very similar to the South's secession from the United States in the 1860s --Texans disagreed with the Mexican government over how the territory should be run, so they fought for independence from Mexico.
Assistant history professor Raul Ramos will try to dispel some of the myths about the Battle of the Alamo in Remember the Alamo, a new History Channel documentary.
Photo courtesy of UH External Communications
Ramos said that, although many Tejanos were involved in the struggle for secession, very few actually fought in the Texas War of Secession. He said despite the idea that Texas was defended by natives fighting for their homeland, the truth is that many of the soldiers who died were paid mercenaries most likely looking to get some land once the fighting was over.
Many of the Tejanos who helped in the struggle for Texas secession were shoved aside by Anglos who marginalized their interests after the war was over, Ramos said.
The televised documentary's release was intended to coincide with the release of the Disney feature film The Alamo, but the movie has been pushed back from its original winter release date. Remember the Alamois hosted by UH alumnus Dennis Quaid, who plays Gen. Sam Houston in the Disney film.
Although the documentary tries to give an honest portrayal of the battle, Ramos said The History Channel tends to sensationalize things a bit in order to attract viewers. Remember the Alamo, Ramos said, 'attempts to talk about myths, taking a more broad view.
"It raises a lot of interesting questions about where the myths come from," he said. "It's not a definitive source, but I think it's a useful beginning."
Remember the Alamo premiered Tuesday, but will be shown again on The History Channel at 8 p.m. Saturday.