The Strange Career of Juan Crow: Latino/as and the Making of the U.S. South, 1940-2000

Marquez, Cecilia, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Hale, Grace, Department of History, University of Virginia

The Strange Career of Juan Crow examines the social and cultural history of Latinos in the post-World War II South. It traces the history of Latino/as, primarily Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans, during the demise of Jim Crow segregation and their transformation from an ethnic group to a racial one. Based on archival research and oral histories, this project examines the lives of Latino/as in civil rights organizing, military service, and labor. Additionally, the project examines Southern foodways, leisure practices, and visual culture to analyze the representation of Latinos in mass culture. It demonstrates that the anti-Latino sentiment in the South today is a recent invention; prior to the 1980s Latinos benefitted from many privileges associated with whiteness—including using white Jim Crow accommodations. It argues that the South was best characterized as having a black/not-black racial order rather than the commonly held assumption of a black and white binary. My project emphasizes the permeable nature of whiteness and the centrality of blackness in defining whiteness.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Latino/a History, Southern History, American History, Latino/as, Race in the United States, United States South
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