106 books about Hispanic Americans and 5
start with I
In an Angry Season
Lisa D. Chávez University of Arizona Press, 2001 Library of Congress PS3553.H3463I5 2001 | Dewey Decimal 811.6
A white woman navigates her fear and uncertainty to learn the ways of the people she called savages, until she begins to dream “in Dakota, syllables sliding / on my tongue like tender pieces of meat.” An African man, on display as a cannibal at the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, sees into the future: “humiliations heaped up / as on overfilled plates . . . / . . . a country that casually / consumes its own.” A woman holds the gray-blue barrel of a gun in her mouth, “the taste familiar / as her own blood.”
With an unexcelled command of narrative verse, Lisa Chávez tells the stories of American lives across more than a century. Whether retelling nineteenth-century captivity narratives or depicting contemporary American women confronting addiction and despair, Chávez investigates issues of identity and self-definition in the face of an often harsh and unremitting history.
Her story-poems explore the ways in which people have been made captive—whether to racism or national policy, to bad marriages or alcoholism, to poverty or emotion—from the Inuit woman birthing a son among strangers to the wife now deranged by desire for another man: “He’s the smoky slow-burn of chipotle on the tongue. My golden idol. My gospel revival. He’s hashish sweet and languorous—my body’s one desire.”
In the end, Chávez shows us a New World of promise in which an alchemist’s assistant summons stories from stones by calling their names with “clicks of her tongue, / syllables of silver, turquoise, and jade,” and a Native woman discovers her true power in an Alaskan bar. Passionate and political, In an Angry Season is a work of startling depth and breadth—an American history in poetry—that asks us what it means to be civilized.
In Search of Belonging explores the ways Latina/o audiences in general, and women in particular, makes sense of and engage both mainstream and Spanish-language media. Jillian M. Báez's eye-opening ethnographic analysis draws on the experiences of a diverse group of Latinas in Chicago. In-depth interviews reveal Latinas viewing media images through a lens of citizenship. These women search for nothing less than recognition--and belonging --through representations of Latinas in films, advertising, telenovelas, and TV shows like Ugly Betty and Modern Family. Báez's personal interactions and research merge to create a fascinating portrait, one that privileges the perspectives of the women themselves as they consume media in complex, unpredictable ways. Innovative and informed by a wealth of new evidence, In Search of Belonging answers important questions about the ways Latinas perform citizenship in today's America.
The image of the "underclass," framed by persistent poverty, long-term joblessness, school dropout, teenage pregnancy, and drug use, has become synonymous with urban poverty. But does this image tell us enough about how the diverse minorities among the urban poor actually experience and cope with poverty? No, say the contributors to In the Barrios. Their portraits of eight Latino communities—in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Albuquerque, Laredo, and Tucson—reveal a far more complex reality. In the Barrios responds directly to current debates on the origins of the "underclass" and depicts the cultural, demographic, and historical forces that have shaped poor Latino communities. These neighborhoods share many hardships, yet they manifest no "typical" form of poverty. Instead, each group adapts its own cultural and social resources to the difficult economic circumstances of American urban life. The editors point to continued immigration as an issue of overriding importance in understanding urban Latino poverty. Newcomers to concentrated Latino areas build a local economy that provides affordable amenities and promotes ethnic institutional development. In many of these neighborhoods, a network of emotional as well as economic support extends across families and borders. The first major assessment of inner-city Latino communities in the United States, In the Barrios will change the way we approach the current debate on urban poverty, immigration, and the underclass.
Race in the United States has long been associated with heredity and inequality while ethnicity has been linked to language and culture. In the Shadow of Race recovers the history of this entrenched distinction and the divisive politics it engenders.
Victoria Hattam locates the origins of ethnicity in the New York Zionist movement of the early 1900s. In a major revision of widely held assumptions, she argues that Jewish activists identified as ethnics not as a means of assimilating and becoming white, but rather as a way of defending immigrant difference as distinct from race—rooted in culture rather than body and blood. Eventually, Hattam shows, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the Census Bureau institutionalized this distinction by classifying Latinos as an ethnic group and not a race. But immigration and the resulting population shifts of the last half century have created a political opening for reimagining the relationship between immigration and race. How to do so is the question at hand.
In the Shadow of Race concludes by examining the recent New York and Los Angeles elections and the 2006 immigrant rallies across the country to assess the possibilities of forging a more robust alliance between immigrants and African Americans. Such an alliance is needed, Hattam argues, to more effectively redress the persistent inequalities in American life.
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.