How America's Immigrants Became White: The Strange Journey from Ellis Island to the Suburbs
Author: David R. Roediger
Publisher: Hachette UK
How did immigrants to the United States come to see themselves as white? David R. Roediger has been in the vanguard of the study of race and labor in American history for decades. He first came to prominence as the author of The Wages of Whiteness, a classic study of racism in the development of a white working class in nineteenth-century America. In Working Toward Whiteness, Roediger continues that history into the twentieth century. He recounts how ethnic groups considered white today -- including Jewish-, Italian-, and Polish-Americans -- were once viewed as undesirables by the WASP establishment in the United States. They eventually became part of white America, through the nascent labor movement, New Deal reforms, and a rise in home-buying. Once assimilated as fully white, many of them adopted the racism of those whites who formerly looked down on them as inferior. From ethnic slurs to racially restrictive covenants -- the real estate agreements that ensured all-white neighborhoods -- Roediger explores the mechanisms by which immigrants came to enjoy the privileges of being white in America. A disturbing, necessary, masterful history, Working Toward Whiteness uses the past to illuminate the present. In an introduction to the 2018 edition, Roediger considers the resonance of the book in the age of Trump, showing how Working Toward Whiteness remains as relevant as ever even though most migrants today are not from Europe.
Arriving in New York City in the first decade of the twentieth century, six painters-Robert Henri, John Sloan, Everett Shinn, Glackens, George Luks, and George Bellows, subsequently known as the Ashcan Circle-faced a visual culture that depicted the urban man as a diseased body under assault. Ashcan artists countered this narrative, manipulating the bodies of construction workers, tramps, entertainers, and office workers to stand in visual opposition to popular, political, and commercial cultures. They did so by repeatedly positioning white male bodies as having no cleverness, no moral authority, no style, and no particular charisma, crafting with consistency an unspectacular man. This was an attempt, both radical and deeply insidious, to make the white male body stand outside visual systems of knowledge, to resist the disciplining powers of commercial capitalism, and to simply be with no justification or rationale. Ashcan Art, Whiteness, and the Unspectacular Man maps how Ashcan artists reconfigured urban masculinity for national audiences and reimagined the possibility and privilege of the unremarkable white, male body thus shaping dialogues about modernity, gender, and race that shifted visual culture in the United States.
Urbane Straßen dienen als Massenmedium zur Erzeugung sozialer Sichtbarkeit von Personen, Gruppen und deren Anliegen selbst in der digitalisierten Gegenwart. Die Studie spürt der Geschichte dieser medialen Dimension des Straßenverkehrs anhand der Migranten- und Medienmetropole Chicago von 1900-1930 nach. Gerade am Beispiel dieser rasant wachsenden Stadt thematisierten zeitgenössische Reformerinnen, Schriftsteller, Journalisten und Soziologinnen die Medialität der Erscheinungen auf der Straße. Ihre Texte machen mikrohistorisch verdichtet mit Fotomaterial und Selbstzeugnissen facettenreich anschaulich, wie Straßen als soziotechnisches Setting Blickkonstellationen, Wahrnehmungs- und Auftrittsweisen der Verkehrsteilnehmenden prägten. Das Aufeinandertreffen unzähliger (non)verbaler Artikulationen, konkurrierender Selbstbilder und Ansprüche von einzelnen und Gemeinschaften führte zu stereotypisierenden Projektionen, die im Extremfall in Dynamiken wie den Race Riots 1919 endeten.
How do people produce and reproduce identities? In How Americans Make Race, Clarissa Rile Hayward challenges what is sometimes called the 'narrative identity thesis': the idea that people produce and reproduce identities as stories. Identities have greater staying power than one would expect them to have if they were purely and simply narrative constructions, she argues, because people institutionalize identity-stories, building them into laws, rules, and other institutions that give social actors incentives to perform their identities well, and because they objectify identity-stories, building them into material forms that actors experience with their bodies. Drawing on in-depth historical analyses of the development of racialized identities and spaces in the twentieth-century United States, and also on life-narratives collected from people who live in racialized urban and suburban spaces, Hayward shows how the institutionalization and objectification of racial identity-stories enables their practical reproduction, lending them resilience in the face of challenge and critique.
Whiteface Minstrels and Stage Europeans in African American Performance
Author: Marvin McAllister
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Category: Social Science
In the early 1890s, black performer Bob Cole turned blackface minstrelsy on its head with his nationally recognized whiteface creation, a character he called Willie Wayside. Just over a century later, hiphop star Busta Rhymes performed a whiteface supercop in his hit music video "Dangerous." In this sweeping work, Marvin McAllister explores the enduring tradition of "whiting up," in which African American actors, comics, musicians, and even everyday people have studied and assumed white racial identities. Not to be confused with racial "passing" or derogatory notions of "acting white," whiting up is a deliberate performance strategy designed to challenge America's racial and political hierarchies by transferring supposed markers of whiteness to black bodies--creating unexpected intercultural alliances even as it sharply critiques racial stereotypes. Along with conventional theater, McAllister considers a variety of other live performance modes, including weekly promenading rituals, antebellum cakewalks, solo performance, and standup comedy. For over three centuries, whiting up as allowed African American artists to appropriate white cultural production, fashion new black identities through these "white" forms, and advance our collective ability to locate ourselves in others.
Black-Brown Coalition and the Fight for Economic Justice, 1960-1974
Author: Gordon K. Mantler
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Category: Social Science
The Poor People's Campaign of 1968 has long been overshadowed by the assassination of its architect, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the political turmoil of that year. In a major reinterpretation of civil rights and Chicano movement history, Gordon K. Mantler demonstrates how King's unfinished crusade became the era's most high-profile attempt at multiracial collaboration and sheds light on the interdependent relationship between racial identity and political coalition among African Americans and Mexican Americans. Mantler argues that while the fight against poverty held great potential for black-brown cooperation, such efforts also exposed the complex dynamics between the nation's two largest minority groups. Drawing on oral histories, archives, periodicals, and FBI surveillance files, Mantler paints a rich portrait of the campaign and the larger antipoverty work from which it emerged, including the labor activism of Cesar Chavez, opposition of Black and Chicano Power to state violence in Chicago and Denver, and advocacy for Mexican American land-grant rights in New Mexico. Ultimately, Mantler challenges readers to rethink the multiracial history of the long civil rights movement and the difficulty of sustaining political coalitions.
Disentangling Blackness, Colonialism, and National Identities in Puerto Rico
Author: I. Rodríguez-Silva
Silencing Race provides a historical analysis of the construction of silences surrounding issues of racial inequality, violence, and discrimination in Puerto Rico. Examining the ongoing racialization of Puerto Rican workers, it explores the 'class-making' of race.
Fictional depictions of intermarriage can illuminate perceptions of both 'ethnicity' and 'whiteness' at any given historical moment. Popular examples such as Lucy and Ricky in I Love Lucy (1951-1957), Joanna and John in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Toula and Ian in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) helped raise questions about national identity: does 'American' mean 'white' or a blending of ethnicities? Building on previous studies by scholars of intermarriage and identity, this study is an ambitious endeavor to discern the ways in which literature and films from the 1960s through 2000s rework nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century intermarriage tropes. Unlike earlier stories, these narratives position the white partner as the 'other' and serve as useful frameworks for assessing ethnic and American identity. Lauren S. Cardon sheds new light on ethno-racial solidarity and the assimilation of different ethnicities into American dominant culture.
Die Geschichte meiner Familie und einer Gesellschaft in der Krise
Author: J. D. Vance
Publisher: Ullstein Buchverlage
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Seine Großeltern versuchten, mit Fleiß und Mobilität der Armut zu entkommen und sich in der Mitte der Gesellschaft zu etablieren. Doch letztlich war alles vergeblich. J. D. Vance erzählt die Geschichte seiner Familie — eine Geschichte vom Scheitern und von der Resignation einer ganzen Bevölkerungsschicht. Armut und Chaos, Hilflosigkeit und Gewalt, Drogen und Alkohol: Genau in diesem Teufelskreis befinden sich viele weiße Arbeiterfamilien in den USA — entfremdet von der politischen Führung, abgehängt vom Rest der Gesellschaft, anfällig für populistische Parolen. Früher konnten sich die »Hillbillys«, die weißen Fabrikarbeiter, erhoffen, sich zu Wohlstand zu schuften. Doch spätestens gegen Ende des 20sten Jahrhunderts zog der Niedergang der alten Industrien ihre Familien in eine Abwärtsspirale, in der sie bis heute stecken. Vance gelingt es wie keinem anderen, diese ausweglose Situation und die Krise einer ganzen Gesellschaft eindrücklich zu schildern. Sein Buch bewegte Millionen von Lesern in den USA und erklärt nicht zuletzt den Wahltriumph eines Donald Trump.
In the nineteenth century, nearly all Native American men living along the southern New England coast made their living traveling the world's oceans on whaleships. Many were career whalemen, spending twenty years or more at sea. Their labor invigorated economically depressed reservations with vital income and led to complex and surprising connections with other Indigenous peoples, from the islands of the Pacific to the Arctic Ocean. At home, aboard ship, or around the world, Native American seafarers found themselves in a variety of situations, each with distinct racial expectations about who was "Indian" and how "Indians" behaved. Treated by their white neighbors as degraded dependents incapable of taking care of themselves, Native New Englanders nevertheless rose to positions of command at sea. They thereby complicated myths of exploration and expansion that depicted cultural encounters as the meeting of two peoples, whites and Indians. Highlighting the shifting racial ideologies that shaped the lives of these whalemen, Nancy Shoemaker shows how the category of "Indian" was as fluid as the whalemen were mobile.
Examining three interconnected case studies, Tamar Carroll powerfully demonstrates the ability of grassroots community activism to bridge racial and cultural differences and effect social change. Drawing on a rich array of oral histories, archival records, newspapers, films, and photographs from post–World War II New York City, Carroll shows how poor people transformed the antipoverty organization Mobilization for Youth and shaped the subsequent War on Poverty. Highlighting the little-known National Congress of Neighborhood Women, she reveals the significant participation of working-class white ethnic women and women of color in New York City's feminist activism. Finally, Carroll traces the partnership between the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) and Women's Health Action Mobilization (WHAM!), showing how gay men and feminists collaborated to create a supportive community for those affected by the AIDS epidemic, to improve health care, and to oppose homophobia and misogyny during the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s. Carroll contends that social policies that encourage the political mobilization of marginalized groups and foster coalitions across identity differences are the most effective means of solving social problems and realizing democracy.
Since the Stonewall Riots in 1969, the politics of sexual identity in America have drastically transformed. It’s almost old news that recent generations of Americans have grown up in a culture more accepting of out lesbians and gay men, seen the proliferation of LGBTQ media representation, and witnessed the attainment of a range of legal rights for same-sex couples. But the changes wrought by a so-called “post-closeted culture” have not just affected the queer community—heterosexuals are also in the midst of a sea change in how their sexuality plays out in everyday life. In Straights, James Joseph Dean argues that heterosexuals can neither assume the invisibility of gays and lesbians, nor count on the assumption that their own heterosexuality will go unchallenged. The presumption that we are all heterosexual, or that there is such a thing as ‘compulsory heterosexuality,’ he claims, has vanished. Based on 60 in-depth interviews with a diverse group of straight men and women, Straights explores how straight Americans make sense of their sexual and gendered selves in this new landscape, particularly with an understanding of how race does and does not play a role in these conceptions. Dean provides a historical understanding of heterosexuality and how it was first established, then moves on to examine the changing nature of masculinity and femininity and, most importantly, the emergence of a new kind of heterosexuality—notably, for men, the metrosexual, and for women, the emergence of a more fluid sexuality. The book also documents the way heterosexuals interact and form relationships with their LGBTQ family members, friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. Although homophobia persists among straight individuals, Dean shows that being gay-friendly or against homophobic expressions is also increasingly common among straight Americans. A fascinating study, Straights provides an in-depth look at the changing nature of sexual expression in America. Instructors: PowerPoint slides for each chapter are available by clicking on the files below. Introduction Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6
Barack Obama’s historic presidency has re-inserted mixed race into the national conversation. While the troubled and pejorative history of racial amalgamation throughout U.S. history is a familiar story, The United States of the United Races reconsiders an understudied optimist tradition, one which has praised mixture as a means to create a new people, bring equality to all, and fulfill an American destiny. In this genealogy, Greg Carter re-envisions racial mixture as a vehicle for pride and a way for citizens to examine mixed America as a better America. Tracing the centuries-long conversation that began with Hector St. John de Crevecoeur’s Letters of an American Farmer in the 1780s through to the Mulitracial Movement of the 1990s and the debates surrounding racial categories on the U.S. Census in the twenty-first century, Greg Carter explores a broad range of documents and moments, unearthing a new narrative that locates hope in racial mixture. Carter traces the reception of the concept as it has evolved over the years, from and decade to decade and century to century, wherein even minor changes in individual attitudes have paved the way for major changes in public response. The United States of the United Races sweeps away an ugly element of U.S. history, replacing it with a new understanding of race in America.
A cultural historian explores the history of Americans' changing attitudes towards hair removal, discussing how it was once viewed as a “mutilation” practiced by “savage” men to being expected of women, lest they be viewed as mentally ill or sexually deviant.
Why America Needs to Rethink its Borders and Immigration Laws
Author: Kevin R. Johnson
Publisher: NYU Press
Seeking to re-imagine the meaning and significance of the international border, Opening the Floodgates makes a case for eliminating the border as a legal construct that impedes the movement of people into this country. Open migration policies deserve fuller analysis, as evidenced by President Barack Obama’s pledge to make immigration reform a priority. Kevin R. Johnson offers an alternative vision of how U.S. borders might be reconfigured, grounded in moral, economic, and policy arguments for open borders. Importantly, liberalizing migration through an open borders policy would recognize that the enforcement of closed borders cannot stifle the strong, perhaps irresistible, economic, social, and political pressures that fuel international migration. Controversially, Johnson suggests that open borders are entirely consistent with efforts to prevent terrorism that have dominated immigration enforcement since the events of September 11, 2001. More liberal migration, he suggests, would allow for full attention to be paid to the true dangers to public safety and national security.
Transforming Race, Nation, and the Limits of the Law
Author: Philip Kretsedemas
Publisher: Columbia University Press
In the debate over U. S. immigration, all sides now support policy and practice that expand the parameters of enforcement. Philip Kretsedemas examines this development from several different perspectives, exploring recent trends in U.S. immigration policy, the rise in extralegal state power over the course of the twentieth century, and discourses on race, nation, and cultural difference that have influenced politics and academia. He also analyzes the recent expansion of local immigration law and explains how forms of extralegal discretionary authority have become more prevalent in federal immigration policy, making the dispersion of local immigration laws possible. While connecting such extralegal state powers to a free flow position on immigration, Kretsedemas also observes how these same discretionary powers have been used historically to control racial minority populations, particularly African Americans under Jim Crow. This kind of discretionary authority often appeals to "states rights" arguments, recently revived by immigration control advocates. Using these and other examples, Kretsedemas explains how both sides of the immigration debate have converged on the issue of enforcement and how, despite differing interests, each faction has shaped the commonsense assumptions defining the debate.
Robert Cantwell and the Literary Left is the first full critical study of novelist and critic Robert Cantwell, a Northwest-born writer with a strong sense of social justice who found himself at the center of the radical literary and cultural politics of 1930s New York. Regarded by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway as one of the finest young fiction writers to emerge from this era, Cantwell is best known for his superb novel, The Land of Plenty, set in western Washington. His literary legacy, however, was largely lost during the Red Scare of the McCarthy era, when he retreated to conservatism. Through meticulous research, an engaging writing style, and a deep commitment to the history of American social movements, T. V. Reed uncovers the story of a writer who brought his Pacific Northwest brand of justice to bear on the project of �reworking� American literature to include ordinary working people in its narratives. In tracing the flourishing of the American literary Left as it unfolded in New York, Reed reveals a rich progressive culture that can inform our own time.
American Evangelicals and World Christianity, 1812-1920
Author: Jay Riley Case
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The astonishing growth of Christianity in the global South over the course of the twentieth century has sparked an equally rapid growth in studies of ''World Christianity,'' which have dismantled the notion that Christianity is a Western religion. What, then, are we to make of the waves of Western missionaries who have, for centuries, been evangelizing in the global South? Were they merely, as many have argued, agents of imperialism out to impose Western values? In An Unpredictable Gospel, Jay Case examines the efforts of American evangelical missionaries in light of this new scholarship. He argues that if they were agents of imperialism, they were poor ones. Western missionaries had a dismal record of converting non-Westerners to Christianity. The ministries that were most successful were those that empowered the local population and adapted to local cultures. In fact, influence often flowed the other way, with missionaries serving as conduits for ideas that shaped American evangelicalism. Case traces these currents and sheds new light on the relationship between Western and non-Western Christianities.
Mexican migration to the United States and Canada is a highly contentious issue in the eyes of many North Americans, and every generation seems to construct the northward flow of labor as a brand new social problem. The history of Mexican labor migration to the United States, from the Bracero Program (1942-1964) to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), suggests that Mexicans have been actively encouraged to migrate northward when labor markets are in short supply, only to be turned back during economic downturns. In this timely book, Mize and Swords dissect the social relations that define how corporations, consumers, and states involve Mexican immigrant laborers in the politics of production and consumption. The result is a comprehensive and contemporary look at the increasingly important role that Mexican immigrants play in the North American economy.