America Beyond Black and White: How Immigrants and Fusions Are Helping Us Overcome the Racial Divide

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2009-10-12 22:03Z by Steven

America Beyond Black and White: How Immigrants and Fusions Are Helping Us Overcome the Racial Divide

University of Michigan Press
296 oages
6 x 9. 296 pgs. 1 table
Cloth: 978-0-472-11609-6
Paper: 978-0-472-03320-1
Ebook Formats: 978-0-472-02175-8

Ronald Fernandez, Professor of Sociology
Criminal Justice Department
Central Connecticut State University

For the first time in U.S. history, the black-white dichotomy that historically has defined race and ethnicity is being challenged, not by a small minority, but by the fastest-growing and arguably most vocal segment of the increasingly diverse American population—Mexicans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Indians, Arabs, and many more—who are breaking down and recreating the very definitions of race.

Drawing on interviews with hundreds of Americans who don’t fit conventional black or white categories, the author invites us to empathize with these “doubles” and to understand why they represent our best chance to throw off the strictures of the black-white division.

The revolution is already under way, as newcomers and mixed-race fusions reject the prevailing Anglo-Protestant culture. Americans face two choices: understand why these individuals think as they do or face a future that continues to define us by what divides us rather than by what unites us.

Tags: , ,

Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory: A Novel

Posted in Books, Gay & Lesbian, History, Media Archive, Mexico, Novels, United States, Women on 2009-09-01 02:17Z by Steven

Forgetting the Alamo, Or, Blood Memory: A Novel

University of Texas Press
September 2009
198 pages
6 x 9 in.; 1 map
ISBN: 978-0-292-71920-0 (hardcover, no dust jacket)
ISBN: 978-0-292-72128-9 (paperback)

Emma Pérez, Associate Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies
University of Colorado

This literary adventure takes place in nineteenth-century Texas and follows the story of a Tejana lesbian cowgirl after the fall of the Alamo. Micaela Campos, the central character, witnesses the violence against Mexicans, African Americans, and indigenous peoples after the infamous battles of the Alamo and of San Jacinto, both in 1836. Resisting an easy opposition between good versus evil and brown versus white characters, the novel also features Micaela’s Mexican-Anglo cousin who assists and hinders her progress. Micaela’s travels give us a new portrayal of the American West, populated by people of mixed races who are vexed by the collision of cultures and politics. Ultimately, Micaela’s journey and her romance with a black/American Indian woman teach her that there are no easy solutions to the injustices that birthed the Texas Republic.

This novel is an intervention in queer history and fiction with its love story between two women of color in mid-nineteenth-century Texas. Pérez also shows how a colonial past still haunts our nation’s imagination. The battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto offered freedom and liberty to Texans, but what is often erased from the story is that common people who were Mexican, Indian, and Black did not necessarily benefit from the influx of so many Anglo immigrants to Texas. The social themes and identity issues that Pérez explores—political climate, debates over immigration, and historical revision of the American West—are current today.

Tags: , , , , ,