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  • Latinx History outside the American Southwest and Borderlands
  • Jennifer Macias (bio)
Corazón de Dixie: Mexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910. By Julie M. Weise. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015. xiii + 344 pages. $32.50 (paper).
Latina Lives in Milwaukee. By Theresa Delgadillo. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2015. xx + 248 pages. $28.00 (paper).
Of Forest and Fields: Mexican Labor in the Pacific Northwest. By Mario Jimenez Sifuentez. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2016. x + 193 pages. $27.95 (paper).
Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South. By Angela Stuesse. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016. xii + 336 pages. $29.95 (paper).
Steel Barrio: The Great Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915–1940. By Michael Innis-Jiménez. New York: New York University Press, 2013. xiii + 235 pages. $27.00 (paper).

Throughout the American Southwest and the borderlands area, there are visual reminders of Latinx presence. The murals in San Diego's Chicanx Park, for example, or the César E. Chávez National Monument in Keene, California, and even the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, remind passersby of Latinxs' existence in the area, however contested that presence may be. Yet murals such as Ruby Chacón's Cihuacoatl and Gold Rule in downtown Salt Lake City are often perceived as out of place. Her depictions of Latinx musicians, farm peddlers, and even César Chávez call for a reckoning with the agency and strength of Latinxs and the importance of their labor, political, social, and cultural contributions to Utah. The unintelligibility of the murals to many of those who see them signals the lack of recognition of the long-standing presence of Latinas/os in the United States outside the Southwest, something scholarship has not [End Page 421] done enough to remedy. This essay engages with a group of recently published books that speak powerfully into that silence and invisibility of Latinxs beyond the borderlands, and consider what life was like for Latinxs during the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries in the South, the Pacific Northwest, and the Northeast. These books push both the geographic and scholarly boundaries of Latinx history.

In Corazón de Dixie: Mexicans in the U.S. South since 1910, Julie Weise debunks the notion that Latinxs were not in the South before the end of the twentieth century. Weise argues that Mexicanos determined their own place within the racial and social hierarchies already present in the early 1900s South to shape the image of Mexicans in a way that secured a better treatment than the ones Latinxs received in the West. As Southern employers' reliance on Latinxs as a steady labor force increased, Mexican immigrants and Mexican Americans continued to negotiate their place in regional and national political conversations associated with labor, citizenship, class, and race. Taking up some of the same terrain as the final chapter in Weise's book, which is situated in greater Charlotte, North Carolina, since 1990, the anthropologist Angela Stuesse's monograph Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South examines the creation of the "Nuevo New South" in central Mississippi. Stuesse's work focuses on a geographic area characterized by Mississippi's poultry industry, which grew exponentially after the influx of a diverse group of Latinxs after the 1990s, and they replaced African Americans as the majority labor force. Theresa Delgadillo also offers a broad historical narrative of Latinx experiences in Latina Lives in Milwaukee, a collection of oral histories that highlight multiethnic Latinx life in the Midwest. The interviews span diverse classes and occupations, and provide firsthand recollections from women whose families arrived in Milwaukee starting in the 1920s, arguing that while Latinas often faced serious obstacles, they significantly contributed to Latinx civil rights and educational access. Michael Innis-Jiménez's Steel Barrio: The Great Mexican Migration to South Chicago, 1915–1940 considers the growth of urban areas and issues surrounding racial segregation in these spaces. He argues that South Chicago Mexicans created multiracial organizations in order to survive and establish their presence in the city. With a focus on urban Mexicans, Innis-Jiménez proposes that Mexicans resisted...


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