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Nuyorican Poetry from the Sixties to Slam
Decolonization, the Andes, and the Question of Technology
Focusing on films from Bolivia, Ecuador and Columbia, Indianizing Film encourages readers to consider how indigenous media contributes to a wider understanding of decolonization and anticolonial study against the universal backdrop of the twenty-first century. Through questions of gender, power, and representation Schiwy argues that, instead of solely creating entertainment, through their work indigenous media activists are building communication networks that encourage interaction between diverse cultures. As a result, mainstream images are retooled, permitting communities to strengthen their cultures and express their own visions of development and modernization.
Race, Religion, and Migration in the U.S. Midwest
Examining how encounters produced by migration lead to intimacies-ranging from sexual, spiritual, and neighborly to hateful and violent, Jane Juffer considers the significant changes that have occurred in small towns following an influx of Latinos to the Midwest.
Intimacy across Borders situates the story of the Dutch Reformed Church in Iowa and South Africa within a larger analysis of race, religion, and globalization. Drawing on personal narrative, ethnography, and sociopolitical critique, Juffer shows how migration to rural areas can disrupt even the most thoroughly entrenched religious beliefs and transform the schools, churches, and businesses that form the heart of small-town America. Conversely, such face-to-face encounters can also generate hatred, as illustrated in the increasing number of hate crimes against Latinos and the passage of numerous anti-immigrant ordinances.
Juffer demonstrates how Latino migration to new areas of the U.S. threatens certain groups because it creates the potential for new kinds of families—mixed race, mixed legal status, and transnational—that challenge the conservative definition of community based on the racially homogeneous, coupled, citizen family.
Returning to Jewish Cuba
Yiddish-speaking Jews thought Cuba was supposed to be a mere layover on the journey to the United States when they arrived in the island country in the 1920s. They even called it “Hotel Cuba.” But then the years passed, and the many Jews who came there from Turkey, Poland, and war-torn Europe stayed in Cuba. The beloved island ceased to be a hotel, and Cuba eventually became “home.” But after Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the majority of the Jews opposed his communist regime and left in a mass exodus. Though they remade their lives in the United States, they mourned the loss of the Jewish community they had built on the island.
As a child of five, Ruth Behar was caught up in the Jewish exodus from Cuba. Growing up in the United States, she wondered about the Jews who stayed behind. Who were they and why had they stayed? What traces were left of the Jewish presence, of the cemeteries, synagogues, and Torahs? Who was taking care of this legacy? What Jewish memories had managed to survive the years of revolutionary atheism?
An Island Called Home is the story of Behar’s journey back to the island to find answers to these questions. Unlike the exotic image projected by the American media, Behar uncovers a side of Cuban Jews that is poignant and personal. Her moving vignettes of the individuals she meets are coupled with the sensitive photographs of Havana-based photographer Humberto Mayol, who traveled with her.
Together, Behar’s poetic and compassionate prose and Mayol’s shadowy and riveting photographs create an unforgettable portrait of a community that many have seen though few have understood. This book is the first to show both the vitality and the heartbreak that lie behind the project of keeping alive the flame of Jewish memory in Cuba.
Transnational Community and Identity
In Jalos, USA, Alfredo Mirandé explores migration between the Mexican town of Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, and Turlock, California, and shows how migrants retain a primal identity with their community of origin. The study examines how family, gender, courtship, religion, and culture promote a Mexicanized version of the “American Dream” for la gente de Jalos. After introducing traditional theories of migration and describing a distinctly circular migration pattern between Jalos and Turlock, Mirandé introduces a model of transnationalism. Residents move freely back and forth across the border, often at great risk, adopting a transnational village identity that transcends both the border and conventional national or state identities. Mirandé’s findings are based on participant observation, ethnographic field research, and captivating in-depth personal interviews conducted on both sides of the border with a wide range of respondents. To include multiple perspectives, Mirandé conducts focus group interviews with youth in Jalos and Turlock, as well as interviews with priests and social service providers. Together, these data provide both a rich account of experiences as well as assessments of courtship practices and problems faced by contemporary migrants. Jalos, USA is written in an accessible style that appeals to students and scholars of Latino and migration studies, policy makers, and laypersons interested in immigration, the border, and transnational migration.
The Prophet of Race
Jose Vasconcelos was a controversial Mexican scholar who fostered an alternative view of the future. In Jose Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race, his influential 1925 essay, "Mestizaje"- key to understanding the role he played in the shaping of multiethnic America-is for the first time showcased and properly analyzed. Ilan Stavans insightfully and comprehensively examines the essay in biographical and historical context, and considers how many in the United States, especially Chicanos during the civil rights era, used it as a platform for their political agenda.
Research on African American and Latino Relations in the United States
Blacks and Latinos have transformed the American city—together these groups now constitute the majority in seven of the ten largest cities. Large-scale immigration from Latin America has been changing U.S. racial dynamics for decades, and Latino migration to new destinations is changing the face of the American south. Yet most of what social science has helped us to understand about these groups has been observed primarily in relation to whites—not each other. Just Neighbors? challenges the traditional black/white paradigm of American race relations by examining African Americans and Latinos as they relate to each other in the labor market, the public sphere, neighborhoods, and schools. The book shows the influence of race, class, and received stereotypes on black-Latino social interactions and offers insight on how finding common ground may benefit both groups. From the labor market and political coalitions to community organizing, street culture, and interpersonal encounters, Just Neighbors? analyzes a spectrum of Latino-African American social relations to understand when and how these groups cooperate or compete. Contributor Frank Bean and his co-authors show how the widely held belief that Mexican immigration weakens job prospects for native-born black workers is largely unfounded—especially as these groups are rarely in direct competition for jobs. Michael Jones-Correa finds that Latino integration beyond the traditional gateway cities promotes seemingly contradictory feelings: a sense of connectedness between the native minority and the newcomers but also perceptions of competition. Mark Sawyer explores the possibilities for social and political cooperation between the two groups in Los Angeles and finds that lingering stereotypes among both groups, as well as negative attitudes among blacks about immigration, remain powerful but potentially surmountable forces in group relations. Regina Freer and Claudia Sandoval examine how racial and ethnic identity impacts coalition building between Latino and black youth and find that racial pride and a sense of linked fate encourages openness to working across racial lines. Black and Latino populations have become a majority in the largest U.S. cities, yet their combined demographic dominance has not abated both groups’ social and economic disadvantage in comparison to whites. Just Neighbors? lays a much-needed foundation for studying social relations between minority groups. This trailblazing book shows that, neither natural allies nor natural adversaries, Latinos and African Americans have a profound potential for coalition-building and mutual cooperation. They may well be stronger together rather than apart.
From the King Ranch to the White House
On September 20, 1988, Lauro Cavazos became the first Hispanic in the history of the United States to be appointed to the Cabinet, when thenvice president George H. W. Bush swore him in as secretary of education. Cavazos, born on the legendary King Ranch in South Texas and educated in a two-room ranch schoolhouse, served until December 1990, after which he returned to his career in medical education and academic administration. In this engaging memoir, he recounts not only his years in Washington but also the childhood influences and life experiences that informed his policies in office. The ranch, he says, taught him how to live. These pages are full of glimpses into life on the famous ranch. Cavazos tells of Christmas parties, cattle work, and schooling. In his home, he was introduced to a natural bilingualism: he and his siblings were encouraged to speak only English with their father and only Spanish with their mother. Cavazos describes the high educational expectations his parents held. After service in World War II, Cavazos went to college and earned a doctorate from Iowa State University, launching him on a career in medical education. In 1980 he returned to his alma mater, Texas Tech University, as its tenth presidentthe first Hispanic and the first graduate of the university to serve in that post. As secretary of education, Cavazos stressed a commitment to reading. Indeed, he once told a group of educators that the curriculum for the first three years of school should be “reading, reading, and more reading.” His career is as interesting as it is inspiring, and Cavazos’ memoir joins the ranks of emerging success stories by Mexican Americans that will provide models for aspiring young people today.