Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-01-05 20:32Z by Steven

Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

University of New Mexico Press
November 2018
312 pages
21 figs
6×9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-5979-7
E-book ISBN: 978-0-8263-5980-3

Darnella Davis
Washington, D.C.

Examining the legacy of racial mixing in Indian Territory through the land and lives of two families, one of Cherokee Freedman descent and one of Muscogee Creek heritage, Darnella Davis’s memoir writes a new chapter in the history of racial mixing on the frontier. It is the only book-length account of the intersections between the three races in Indian Territory and Oklahoma written from the perspective of a tribal person and a freedman.

The histories of these families, along with the starkly different federal policies that molded their destinies, offer a powerful corrective to the historical narrative. From the Allotment Period to the present, their claims of racial identity and land in Oklahoma reveal inequalities that still fester more than one hundred years later. Davis offers a provocative opportunity to unpack our current racial discourse and ask ourselves, “Who are ‘we’ really?”

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Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics

Posted in Books, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, Europe, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery on 2015-10-22 00:01Z by Steven

Brazil through French Eyes: A Nineteenth-Century Artist in the Tropics

University of New Mexico Press
October 2015
264 pages
59 halftones
6 x 9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-3745-0

Ana Lucia Araujo, Professor of History
Howard University, Washington, D.C.

In 1858 François-Auguste Biard, a well-known sixty-year-old French artist, arrived in Brazil to explore and depict its jungles and the people who lived there. What did he see and how did he see it? In this book historian Ana Lucia Araujo examines Biard’s Brazil with special attention to what she calls his “tropical romanticism”: a vision of the country with an emphasis on the exotic.

Biard was not only one of the first European artists to encounter and depict native Brazilians, but also one of the first travelers to photograph the rain forest and its inhabitants. His 1862 travelogue Deux années en Brésil includes 180 woodcuts that reveal Brazil’s reliance on slave labor as well as describe the landscape, flora, and fauna, with lively narratives of his adventures and misadventures in the rain forest. Thoroughly researched, Araujo places Biard’s work in the context of the European travel writing of the time and examines how representations of Brazil through French travelogues contributed and reinforced cultural stereotypes and ideas about race and race relations in Brazil. She further summarizes that similar representations continue and influence perspectives today.

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Don’t Forget the Accent Mark: A Memoir

Posted in Autobiography, Books, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2012-01-31 01:40Z by Steven

Don’t Forget the Accent Mark: A Memoir

University of New Mexico Press
110 pages
5.5 x 8 in.; 15 halftones
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8263-5047-3

David Sánchez, Professor of Mathematics (Retired)
University of New Mexico

Raised in a Mexican home in an Anglo neighborhood, David Sánchez was fair-skinned and fluent in Spanish and English when he entered kindergarten. None of this should have had any influence on the career path he chose, but at certain moments it did. With the birth of the Chicano Movement and affirmative action, a different and sometimes disturbing significance became attached to his name. Sánchez’s story chronicles his life and those moments.

No matter how we transcend our origins, they remain part of our lives. This autobiography of an outstanding mathematician, dedicated to others, whose career included stints as a senior university and federal administrator, is also the story of a young man of mixed Mexican and American parentage.


  • Chapter One: EARLY DAYS
  • Chapter Four: NEW MEXICO: VISIT ONE
  • Chapter Five: ANN ARBOR: VISIT ONE
  • Chapter Seven: SEMPER FI: SAYONARA
  • Chapter Eight: ANN ARBOR: VISIT TWO
  • Chapter Ten: WESTWOOD DAYS
  • Chapter Eleven: NEW MEXICO: VISIT TWO
  • Chapter Thirteen: A BRIEF TEXAS INTERLUDE

Chapter 1: EARLY DAYS

Sanchez is a pretty common name in the southwestern United States. More properly it should be spelled Sánchez, as I was informed by my grandfather Cecilio shortly after I moved into my Mexican grandparents’ home in San Diego, California, at the age of three. I asked him what was the funny mark above our name, and he sternly replied, “Asi se escribe nuestro nombre en esta familia” (In this family that is the way our name is written). Don Cecilio was not a person to be disobeyed, so whenever I sign my name, the accent mark is always there—a little symbol of my Mexicanness in the Anglo world in which I was raised.

Growing up, the accent was not a problem, except for a few raised eyebrows now and then because I look more Irish or Welsh than Mexican. But when I was in training in the Marine Corps, we were required to stencil our names on our utility shirts. I decided to add the accent mark, which really angered one of my drill instructors. He asked me what it was, and I replied as my grandfather had done. He loudly accused me of being some kind of a French pervert or a communist sympathizer; uniformity is a very strict requirement of Marine Corps training, even on stencils. I stood rigidly at the best USMC attention, just as loudly repeated my reason, and after a few more insults, the DI stormed off. I never heard any more about it.

Nowadays you see the name Sánchez everywhere. There are writers, artists, entertainers, military personnel at all levels, news commentators, athletes, politicians, and scholars, many of them with the first name David. But well into my early middle age, I rarely encountered a namesake, and I regarded myself as a typical American but with the advantage of being bilingual. No English was spoken in my grandparents’ house. When I arrived, I only spoke English, but my grandfather insisted that every Sunday we have a Spanish lesson, using some of the old primers he used as a boy in Mexico in the late eighteen hundreds. When I entered kindergarten, I could already read and speak Spanish. Since there were only two Mexican families in our neighborhood, Mission Hills (middle to upper class then, but now much more posh), it was English out the door and Spanish in the door.

In the thirties and early forties, San Diego had a population of about two hundred thousand, with a sizeable Mexican population largely living in the Logan Heights neighborhood. We would visit friends there frequently; many of them were families whose parents had fled Mexico during the Mexican Revolution, just as my grandparents had done. Birthday and holiday fiestas, lively events in which I enthusiastically participated, were packed with our Mexican friends, which certainly enhanced my appreciation and acceptance of my heritage.

Statistics on the composition of today’s Latino households shows many families in which the grandparents are raising the children, usually for reasons such as an illegitimate birth or a broken marriage. Many of these grandparents are trying to protect the family structure and reputation and want to insure that the child is raised in a loving environment with attention being paid to its education. The Mexican grandparental culture is a strong, supportive one from which I certainly benefited.

How did I acquire the name Sánchez? I was born in 1933 in San Francisco, probably out of wedlock, the son of Berta Sánchez and a man I prefer not to identify. (I did not know his name until I was seventeen, when my grandmother had to emotionally provide my birth certificate in order for me to apply to the Navy Reserve.) When I was three years old, my mother decided to move back to Mexico; she was bilingual and a skilled secretary, so there were good job opportunities. But she had no confidence in the Mexican medical system and did not wish the stigma of being an unwed mother. So she arranged for me to be raised in San Diego by my grandparents, Cecilio and Concepcion Sánchez…

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Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times

Posted in Anthologies, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Mexico, Slavery, Social Science on 2011-12-05 00:14Z by Steven

Black Mexico: Race and Society from Colonial to Modern Times

University of New Mexico Press
296 pages
6 x 9 in, 21 halftones, 4 maps
paperback ISBN: 978-0-8263-4701-5

Edited by:

Ben Vinson III, Professor of history and Director of the Center for Africana Studies
Johns Hopkins University

Matthew Restall, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies
Pennsylvania State University

The essays in this collection build upon a series of conversations and papers that resulted from “New Directions in North American Scholarship on Afro-Mexico,” a symposium conducted at Pennsylvania State University in 2004. The issues addressed include contested historiography, social and economic contributions of Afro-Mexicans, social construction of race and ethnic identity, forms of agency and resistance, and contemporary inquiry into ethnographic work on Afro-Mexican communities. Comprised of a core set of chapters that examine the colonial period and a shorter epilogue addressing the modern era, this volume allows the reader to explore ideas of racial representation from the sixteenth century into the twenty-first.


Joan Bristol, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia
Patrick Carroll, Texas A & M University, Corpus Christi
Andrew B. Fisher, Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota
Nicole von Germeten, Oregon State University, Corvallis
Laura A. Lewis, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Jean-Philibert Mobwa Mobwa N’djoli, Congolese native living in Mexico City
Frank “Trey” Proctor III, Denison University, Granville, Ohio
Alva Moore Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles
Bobby Vaughn, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California

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To Intermix With Our White Brothers: Indian Mixed Bloods in the United States from Earliest Times to the Indian Removals

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2011-06-07 19:47Z by Steven

To Intermix With Our White Brothers: Indian Mixed Bloods in the United States from Earliest Times to the Indian Removals

University of New Mexico Press
472 pages
6 x 9 in.; 10 halftones
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-3287-5

Thomas Ingersoll, Associate Professor of History
Ohio State University

“I think that I or any of my brethren have a right to choose a wife for themselves as well as the whites, and as the whites have taken the liberty to choose my brethren, the Indians, hundreds of thousands of them, as partners in life, I believe the Indians have as much right to choose their partners among the whites if they wish.”—William Apess, An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man, 1833

In this groundbreaking study, Thomas Ingersoll argues the Jacksonian American Indian removal policy appealed to popular racial prejudice against all Indians, including special suspicion of mixed bloods. Lawmakers also perceived a threat to white Americans’ transatlantic reputation posed by the potential for general racial mixture, or “amalgamation.” Beginning in the 1780s, and for the ensuing half-century, alarmed government officials attempted to separate full blood and mixed-blood Indians into enclaves in the Far West, to isolate them from white migrants out of the eastern states and prevent the rise of a new, genuinely alternative mixed society.

Ingersoll begins by examining the origins and early history of mixed bloods in North America. He follows with the lives of individual mixed bloods, an exploration of how the growing mixed population informed racial thought in the Early National Period, and the role of mixed-blood chiefs in opposing the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

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