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Chicano Experience, The

An Alternative Perspective

Alfredo Mirandé

Mirandé offers a detailed examination of Chicano social history and culture that includes studies of: Chicano labor and the economy; the Mexican immigrant and the U.S.-Mexico border conflict; the evolution of Chicano criminality; the American educational system and its impact on Chicano culture; the tensions between the institutional Church and Chicanos; and the myths and misconceptions of "machismo."

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Child Care in Black and White

Working Parents and the History of Orphanages

Jessie B. Ramey

This innovative study examines the development of institutional child care from 1878 to 1929, based on a comparison of two "sister" orphanages in Pittsburgh: the all-white United Presbyterian Orphan's Home and the all-black Home for Colored Children. Drawing on quantitative analysis of the records of more than 1,500 children living at the two orphanages, as well as census data, city logs, and contemporary social science surveys, this study raises new questions about the role of child care in constructing and perpetrating social inequality in the United States.

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Chocolate and Corn Flour

History, Race, and Place in the Making of “Black” Mexico

Laura A. Lewis

Located on Mexico's Pacific coast in a historically black part of the Costa Chica region, the town of San Nicolás has been identified as a center of Afromexican culture by Mexican cultural authorities, journalists, activists, and foreign anthropologists. The majority of the town's residents, however, call themselves morenos (black Indians). In Chocolate and Corn Flour, Laura A. Lewis explores the history and contemporary culture of San Nicolás, focusing on the ways that local inhabitants experience and understand race, blackness, and indigeneity, as well as on the cultural values that outsiders place on the community and its residents. Drawing on more than a decade of fieldwork, Lewis offers a richly detailed and subtle ethnography of the lives and stories of the people of San Nicolás, including community residents who have migrated to the United States. San Nicoladenses, she finds, have complex attitudes toward blackness—as a way of identifying themselves and as a racial and cultural category. They neither consider themselves part of an African diaspora nor deny their heritage. Rather, they acknowledge their hybridity and choose to identify most deeply with their community.

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City Kids

Transforming Racial Baggage

By Maria Kromidas

City Kids profiles fifth-graders in one of New York City’s most diverse public schools, detailing how they collectively developed a sophisticated understanding of race that challenged many of the stereotypes, myths, and commonplaces they had learned from mainstream American culture. Drawing from more than a year of close observations and interviews with students, anthropologist Maria Kromidas not only examines how we can best support children’s antiracist practices, but also considers what they might have to teach us.

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Civil Racism

The 1992 Los Angeles Rebellion and the Crisis of Racial Burnout

Lynn Mie Itagaki

The 1992 Los Angeles rebellion, also known as the Rodney King riots, followed the acquittal of four police officers who had been charged with assault and the use of excessive force against a Black motorist. The violence included widespread looting and destruction of stores, many of which were owned or operated by Korean Americans in neighborhoods that were predominantly Black and Latina/o. Civil Racism examines a range of cultural reactions to the “riots” anchored by calls for a racist civility, a central component of the aesthetics and politics of the post–civil rights era.

Lynn Mie Itagaki argues that the rebellion interrupted the rhetoric of “civil racism,” which she defines as the preservation of civility at the expense of racial equality. As an expression of structural racism, Itagaki writes, civil racism exhibits the active—though often unintentional—perpetuation of discrimination through one’s everyday engagement with the state and society. She is particularly interested in how civility manifests in societal institutions such as the family, the school, and the neighborhood, and she investigates dramatic, filmic, and literary texts by African American, Asian American, and Latina/o artists and writers that contest these demands for a racist civility.

Itagaki specifically addresses what she sees as two “blind spots” in society and in scholarship. One is the invisibility of Asians and Latinas/os in media coverage and popular culture that, she posits, importantly shapes Black–White racial formations in dominant mainstream discourses about race. The second is the scholarly separation of two critical traditions that should be joined in analyses of racial injustice and the 1992 Los Angeles rebellion: comparative race studies and feminist theories.

Civil Racism insists that the 1992 “riots” continue to matter, that the artistic responses matter, and that—more than twenty years later—debates about issues of race, ethnicity, class, and gender are more urgent than ever.


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The Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi

Ted Ownby

Based on new research and combining multiple scholarly approaches, these twelve essays tell new stories about the civil rights movement in the state most resistant to change. Wesley Hogan, Françoise N. Hamlin, and Michael Vinson Williams raise questions about how civil rights organizing took place. Three pairs of essays address African Americans' and whites' stories on education, religion, and the issues of violence. Jelani Favors and Robert Luckett analyze civil rights issues on the campuses of Jackson State University and the University of Mississippi. Carter Dalton Lyon and Joseph T. Reiff study people who confronted the question of how their religion related to their possible involvement in civil rights activism. By studying the Ku Klux Klan and the Deacons for Defense in Mississippi, David Cunningham and Akinyele Umoja ask who chose to use violence or to raise its possibility.

The final three chapters describe some of the consequences and continuing questions raised by the civil rights movement. Byron D'Andra Orey analyzes the degree to which voting rights translated into political power for African American legislators. Chris Myers Asch studies a Freedom School that started in recent years in the Mississippi Delta. Emilye Crosby details the conflicting memories of Claiborne County residents and the parts of the civil rights movement they recall or ignore.

As a group, the essays introduce numerous new characters and conundrums into civil rights scholarship, advance efforts to study African Americans and whites as interactive agents in the complex stories, and encourage historians to pull civil rights scholarship closer toward the present.

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Claiming Space

Racialization in Canadian Cities

Claiming Space: Racialization in Canadian Cities critically examines the various ways in which Canadian cities continue to be racialized despite objective evidence of racial diversity and the dominant ideology of multiculturalism. Contributors consider how spatial conditions in Canadian cities are simultaneously part of, and influenced by, racial domination and racial resistance.

Reflecting on the ways in which race is systematically hidden within the workings of Canadian cities, the book also explores the ways in which racialized people attempt to claim space. These essays cover a diverse range of Canadian urban spaces and various racial groups, as well as the intersection of ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. Linking themes include issues related to subjectivity and space; the importance of new space that arises by challenging the dominant ideology of multiculturalism; and the relationship between diasporic identities and claims to space.

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Clarence Thomas and the Tough Love Crowd

Counterfeit Heroes and Unhappy Truths

Ronald Roberts

In recent years, black neoconservatism has captured the national imagination. Clarence Thomas sits on the Supreme Court. Stephen Carter's opinions on topics ranging from religion to the confirmation process are widely quoted. The New Republic has written that black neoconservative Thomas Sowell was having a greater influence on the discussion of matters of race and ethnicity than any other writer of the past ten years.

In this compelling and vividly argued book, Ronald Roberts reveals how this attention has turned an eccentricity into a movement. Black neoconservatives, Roberts believes, have no real constituency but, as was the case with Clarence Thomas, are held up—and proclaim themselves—as simply and ruthlessly honest, as above mere self-interest and crude political loyalties. They profess a concern for those they criticize, claiming to possess an objective truth which sets them apart from their critics in the establishment Left. They claim to be outsiders even while sustained by the culture's most powerful institutions. As they level attacks at the activist organizations they perceive as moribund, every significant argument they advance rests on fervent mantras of harsh truths and simple realities.

Enlisting the ideal of impartiality as a partisan weapon, this Tough Love Crowd has elevated the familiar wisdom of Spare the rod and spoil the child to the arena of national politics. Turning to their own writings and proclamations, Roberts here serves up a devastating critique of such figures as Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, Stephen Carter, and V. S. Naipaul (Tough Love International). Clarence Thomas and the Tough Love Crowd marks the emergence of a provocative and powerful voice on our cultural and political landscape, a voice which holds those who subscribe to this polemically powerful ideology accountable for their opinions and actions.

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Classic Hollywood, Classic Whiteness

Daniel Bernardi

Leading scholars address the myriad ways in which America’s attitudes about race informed the production of Hollywood films from the 1920s through the 1960s. From the predominantly white star system to segregated mise-en-scènes, Hollywood films reinforced institutionalized racism. The contributors to this volume examine how assumptions about white superiority and colored inferiority and the politics of segregation and assimilation affected Hollywood’s classic period.

Contributors: Eric Avila, UCLA; Aaron Baker, Arizona State U; Karla Rae Fuller, Columbia College; Andrew Gordon, U of Florida; Allison Graham, U of Memphis; Joanne Hershfield, U of North Carolina; Cindy Hing-Yuk Wond, College of Staten Island, CUNY; Arthur Knight, William and Mary; Sarah Madsen Hardy, Bryn Mawr; Gina Marchetti, U of Maryland; Gary W. McDonogh; Chandra Mukerji, UC, San Diego; Martin F. Norden, U of Massachusetts; Brian O'Neil, U of Southern Mississippi; Roberta E. Pearson, Cardiff U; Marguerite H. Rippy, Marymount U; Nicholas Sammond; Beretta E. Smith-Shomade, U of Arizona; Peter Stanfield, Southampton Institute; Kelly Thomas; Hernan Vera, U of Florida; Karen Wallace, U of Wisconsin, Oshkosh; Thomas E. Wartenberg, Mount Holyoke;  Geoffrey M. White, U of Hawai’i; and Jane Yi.



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Clearly Invisible

Racial Passing and the Color of Cultural Identity

By Marcia Alesan Dawkins

Everybody passes. Not just racial minorities. As Marcia Dawkins explains, passing has been occurring for millennia, since intercultural and interracial contact began. And with this profound new study, she explores its old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.

Clearly Invisible journeys to sometimes uncomfortable but unfailingly enlightening places as Dawkins retells the contemporary expressions and historical experiences of individuals called passers. Along the way these passers become people—people whose stories sound familiar but take subtle turns to reveal racial and other tensions lurking beneath the surface, people who ultimately expose as much about our culture and society as they conceal about themselves.

Both an updated take on the history of passing and a practical account of passing’s effects on the rhetoric of multiracial identities, Clearly Invisible traces passing’s legal, political, and literary manifestations, questioning whether passing can be a form of empowerment (even while implying secrecy) and suggesting that passing could be one of the first expressions of multiracial identity in the U.S. as it seeks its own social standing.

Certain to be hailed as a pioneering work in the study of race and culture, Clearly Invisible offers powerful testimony to the fact that individual identities are never fully self-determined—and that race is far more a matter of sociology than of biology.

For more, including photos, author interviews, news, and author appearances, visit ClearlyInvisibleBook.com.

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