Born near Monterray, Mexico in 1896, Hernandez worked as an elementary school teacher in Mexico before immigrating to Texas with her husband. A small business owner, Hernandez ran a family-owned grocery store and bakery in San Antonio with her 10 children.
A talented organizer, Hernández founded many organizations focusing on fighting the oppression she saw in her community. She quickly became a leading voice speaking out against economic inequality and racial discrimination, especially fighting the unique issues facing Mexican-Americans, mothers, and children.
Her father had been a professor, and Hernández believed heavily in the importance of education. In response to segregated schools, she helped found La Liga de Defensa Pro-Escolar (The School Defense League) to fight for equal access to quality education for the West Side Mexican community. She also co-founded Orden Caballeros de America (Order of the Knights of America) dedicated to educating Mexican-Americans about their rights.
A firm believer in women helping other women, Hernández helped organize the Asociación Protectora de Madres (Association for the Protection of Mothers) which provided financial aid to expectant mothers in need during the Great Depression.
Hernández made history as San Antonio’s first female Mexican-American radio personality. The new technology gave her voice the ability to inspire millions across the airways. The Doodle depicts her behind the microphone, as Google writes, “doing what she did best – using her voice to elevate and benefit her community.”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Maria L. de Hernández was born in 1986. She was born in 1896.