Cover image for An African American and Latinx history of the United States
Title:
An African American and Latinx history of the United States
ISBN:
9780807013106
Physical Description:
xi, 276 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents:
"Killed helping workers to organize": reenvisioning American history -- The Haitian revolution and the birth of emancipatory internationalism, 1770s to 1820s -- The Mexican War of Independence and US history: anti-imperialism as a way of life, 1820s to 1850s -- "To break the fetters of slaves all over the world": the internationalization of the Civil War, 18502 to 1865 -- Global issues of reconstruction: the Cuban solidarity movement, 1860s to 1890s -- Waging war on the government of American banks in the global South, 1890s to 1920s -- Forgotten workers of America: racial capitalism and the war on the working class, 1890s to 1940s -- Emancipatory internationalism vs. the American Century, 1945 to 1960s -- El gran paro Estadounidense: the rebirth of the American working class, 1970s to the present -- Epilogue. A new origin narrative of American history.
Summary:
"Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history, arguing that the "Global South" was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Scholar and activist Paul Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms US history into one of the working class organizing against imperialism. Drawing on rich narratives and primary source documents, Ortiz links racial segregation in the Southwest and the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, known as International Workers' Day, when migrant laborers--Chicana/os, Afrocubanos, and immigrants from every continent on earth--united in resistance on the first "Day Without Immigrants." As African American civil rights activists fought against Jim Crow laws and Mexican labor organizers warred against the suffocating grip of capitalism, Black and Spanish-language newspapers, abolitionists, and Latin American revolutionaries coalesced around movements built between people from the United States and people from Central America and the Caribbean. And in stark contrast to the resurgence of "America first" rhetoric, Black and Latinx intellectuals and organizers today have urged the United States to build bridges of solidarity with the nations of the America. Incisive and timely, this bottom-up history, told from the interconnected vantage points of Latinx and African Americas, reveals the radically different ways that people of the diaspora have addressed issues still plaguing the United States today, and it offers a way forward in the continued struggle for universal civil rights."--Jacket flaps.
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Summary

Summary

An intersectional history of the shared struggle for African American and Latinx civil rights

Spanning more than two hundred years, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a revolutionary, politically charged narrative history arguing that the "Global South" was crucial to the development of America as we know it. Ortiz challenges the notion of westward progress, as exalted by widely taught formulations such as "manifest destiny" and "Jacksonian democracy," and shows how placing African American, Latinx, and Indigenous voices unapologetically front and center transforms American history into the story of the working class organizing against imperialism.

In precise detail, Ortiz traces this untold history from the Jim Crow-esque racial segregation of the Southwest, the rise and violent fall of a powerful tradition of Mexican labor organizing in the twentieth century, to May 1, 2006, International Workers' Day, when migrant laborers-Chicana/os, Afro-Cubanos, and immigrants from nearly every continent on earth-united in resistance on the first "Day Without Immigrants."

Incisive and timely, An African American and Latinx History of the United States is a bottom-up history told from the viewpoint of African American and Latinx activists and revealing the radically different ways people of the diaspora addressed issues still plaguing the United States today.


Author Notes

Paul Ortiz is an associate professor of history and the director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. He is the author of Emancipation Betrayed- The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920 and coeditor of the oral history Remembering Jim Crow- African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South . He lives in Gainesville, Florida.


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the latest entry of the Revisioning American History series, Ortiz (Emancipa- tion Betrayed), associate professor of history at the University of Florida, celebrates the lives and achievements of men and women of African and Latin-American heritage within the broader narrative of U.S. history. Ortiz emphasizes these groups' contributions to struggles against slavery, imperialism, and classism throughout the Americas, chronologically organizing instances in which they played a central role in liberation movements, both within the U.S. and across the Western Hemisphere. Beginning with the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), which gave rise to an "emancipatory internationalism" and inspired uprisings against slavery and colonialism throughout the Americas, Ortiz goes on to analyze the confrontation between Mexican advocates of independence and American politicians-such as presidents Madison, Monroe, and John Quincy Adams-who feared the hemisphere-wide spread of liberation ideology. Later chapters examine the international ramifications of the Civil War, African-American involvement in the abolition of slavery in Cuba, and the ways that racism undermined U.S. working-class solidarity. While each chapter is insightful, lucidly written, and extensively researched, the book reads more like a series of articles than a cohesive monograph. Ortiz's work has much to offer, but does not fulfill the promise of its title. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus Review

A concise, alternate history of the United States "about how people across the hemisphere wove together antislavery, anticolonial, pro-freedom, and pro-working-class movements against tremendous obstacles."In the latest in the publisher's ReVisioning American History series, Ortiz (History/Univ. of Florida; Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, 2005, etc.) examines U.S. history through the lens of African-American and Latinx activists. Much of the American history taught in schools is limited to white America, leaving out the impact of non-European immigrants and indigenous peoples. The author corrects that error in a thorough look at the debt of gratitude we owe to the Haitian Revolution, the Mexican War of Independence, and the Cuban War of Independence, all struggles that helped lead to social democracy. Ortiz shows the history of the workers for what it really was: a fatal intertwining of slavery, racial capitalism, and imperialism. He states that the American Revolution began as a war of independence and became a war to preserve slavery. Thus, slavery is the foundation of American prosperity. With the end of slavery, imperialist America exported segregation laws and labor discrimination abroad. As we moved into Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico, we stole their land for American corporations and used the Army to enforce draconian labor laws. This continued in the South and in California. The rise of agriculture could not have succeeded without cheap labor. Mexican workers were often preferred because, if they demanded rights, they could just be deported. Convict labor worked even better. The author points out the only way success has been gained is by organizing; a great example was the "Day without Immigrants" in 2006. Of course, as Ortiz rightly notes, much more work is necessary, especially since Jim Crow and Juan Crow are resurging as each political gain is met with "legal" countermeasures.A sleek, vital history that effectively shows how, "from the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the United States Constitution." Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

Award-winning author and historian Ortiz, associate professor of history and director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida, has written a welcome antidote to the poison of current reactionary attitudes toward people of color, their cultures, and place in the U.S. In this concise narrative history, painstakingly documented through archival and oral research, Ortiz lays out in clear prose the harsh truth that, for most of its history, the U.S. was not a great place to live for many of its citizens of color far from it. However, as Ortiz demonstrates, in their overlapping histories, black and brown people have always inspired each other in their parallel struggles toward emancipation. Opening the book with a careful analysis of the Founding Fathers' motivations as slaveholders, Ortiz continues his scrutiny of U.S. history up to El Gran Paro Americano/The Great American Strike and the Black Lives Matter movement, steadfastly illuminating the viewpoints of both African American and Latinx activism.--Martinez, Sara Copyright 2018 Booklist


Choice Review

The US is a nation of immigrants, descendants of enslaved forced migrants, and indigenous peoples. Yet in describing the history of the US, one is always challenged to address such questions as, Whose America? Who is included in the terms "America" and "American"? Ortiz (history, Univ. of Florida) challenges cherished mythologies and traditions of American exceptionalism and innocence to reenvision a history in which working-class people organized themselves to fight oppression and racial capitalism. Instead of offering a history of white elites and Manifest Destiny, Ortiz seeks to construct a new "origin narrative" that engages the impact on the US of the Haitian Revolution; the contributions of anticolonial and anti-imperialist struggles in Latin America; the influence of social democracy in the Mexican Revolution as an inspiration for American movements; the struggles of braceros and migrant farm workers; and the struggle of the working class to achieve power and control over its own destiny. Here is a far more inclusive, alternative history--one developed from the bottom up--that does not worship the cult of Europe. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. --Wayne C. Glasker, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Camden


Library Journal Review

The story of American exceptionalism and America as a beacon of liberty is one well understood and oft repeated. According to Ortiz (history, Univ. of Florida; Emancipation Betrayed), however, this is a myth that does not hold up when U.S. history is viewed through the lens of African American, Latinx, and indigenous perspectives. For these populations and other marginalized groups, the American experience has not been one of liberty and democracy but of oppression and white dominance. By combing through hundreds of publications created by Native, African, and Latin Americans as well oral histories, Ortiz is able to paint a picture of this country's history that differs greatly from the traditional narrative. He presents the past not as an "exceptional" story of democracy but part of the larger Global South (Latin America, Caribbean, and Africa) fight against imperialism. This slim volume barely scratches the surface of a topic that Ortiz admits is new territory for scholars, but it does provide a challenging and necessary approach to understanding our history. VERDICT A must-read for those who want a deeper perspective than is offered in the traditional history textbook-Michael C. Miller, Austin P.L. & Austin History Ctr., TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Author's Notep. ix
Introduction: "Killed Helping Workers to Organize": Reenvisioning American Historyp. 1
Chapter 1 The Haitian Revolution and the Birth of Emancipatory Internationalism, 1770s to 1820sp. 12
Chapter 2 The Mexican War of Independence and US History: Anti-Imperialism as a Way of Life, 1820s to 1850sp. 33
Chapter 3 "To Break the Fetters of Slaves All Over the World": The Internationalization of the Civil War, 1850s to 1865p. 54
Chapter 4 Global Visions of Reconstruction: The Cuban Solidarity Movement, 1860s to 1890sp. 71
Chapter 5 Waging War on the Government of American Banks in the Global South, 1890s to 1920sp. 95
Chapter 6 Forgotten Workers of America: Racial Capitalism and the War on the Working Class, 1890s to 1940sp. 118
Chapter 7 Emancipatory Internationalism vs. the American Century, 1945 to 1960sp. 143
Chapter 8 El Gran Paro Estadounidense: The Rebirth of the American Working Class, 1970s to the Presentp. 163
Epilogue: A New Origin Narrative of American Historyp. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 190
A Note on Sourcesp. 194
Notesp. 196
Indexp. 261