An African American and Latinx History of the United States

An African American and Latinx History of the United States

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 revisionist history, arguing that Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa--otherwise known as "The Global South"--were crucial to the development...

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Title:An African American and Latinx History of the United States
Author:Paul Ortiz
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An African American and Latinx History of the United States Reviews

  • Dan Downing

    Cowards, bigots, Trump lovers, haters and general dip shits: don't bother. You won't read this: you can't read this---you'd choke on your own bile.

    One deeply moving project I had read/listened too which Paul Ortiz worked on before the present volume was "Remembering Jim Crow," an oral history gleaned from Southern residents.

    The present volume is just as heart-wrenching and in the back of one's mind is a constantly running picture of either forgiving grace falling from the hand of a too-good God

    Cowards, bigots, Trump lovers, haters and general dip shits: don't bother. You won't read this: you can't read this---you'd choke on your own bile.

    One deeply moving project I had read/listened too which Paul Ortiz worked on before the present volume was "Remembering Jim Crow," an oral history gleaned from Southern residents.

    The present volume is just as heart-wrenching and in the back of one's mind is a constantly running picture of either forgiving grace falling from the hand of a too-good God or else of a machine gun mowing down the hateful perpetrators of injustice, slavery, and bigotry described on page after page. The technique attempted here is to present history in a different way, a concentrated dose of the past from the perspective of the colored ('people of color') races. For the experienced reader little is new, although I certainly learned a few things. The power and value, I maintain, comes from all the material being concentrated and indexed. From Crispus Attackus to the sleazy reiterations of today--- the attacks by corporations, police agencies, governments and plain diseased haters with festering brains---Dr. Ortiz delivers an Internationally based picture of how and why slavery and racism pays.

    Highly Recommended.

  • Diego Campos

    This book is written by an academic, but is easily accessible to anyone who wants to pick up and read it. The actual subject matter covers 200 pages, but this is a book I'll easily have to read more than once to solidify the wealth of information that's here.

    My motivation for reading this book was something of a paradigm shift. The trope is that history is written by the victors, but that does not necessarily mean that the "losers" have nothing important to say. Lately, I've been actively searc

    This book is written by an academic, but is easily accessible to anyone who wants to pick up and read it. The actual subject matter covers 200 pages, but this is a book I'll easily have to read more than once to solidify the wealth of information that's here.

    My motivation for reading this book was something of a paradigm shift. The trope is that history is written by the victors, but that does not necessarily mean that the "losers" have nothing important to say. Lately, I've been actively searching for the history of "losing" voices to do my best to learn of a different perspective. We often don't get to choose what we learn through our formal education (aside from perhaps college) and through our communities (we don't get to choose where we're born or move to).

    The book's structure takes you through various important points in American history - the Civil War, Reconstruction, the Spanish-American War, the Civil Rights Era, and to an extent compiles Latin and African American perspectives on these events. For example, rather than thinking of the Civil War as only concerning America's conflict over slavery, African American intellectuals point to the Civil War as an opportunity for America to be a leading light of international emancipation Of course, America didn't rise to that occasion but it was an enlightening read all the same.

    If you're at all interested in learning more about the ground you walk on, I highly recommend this book. It's also filled to the brim with end notes for further reading.

  • Savannah

    Important read. Information and perspective we all need to know.

  • Jordan

    Much like An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, this book is part of the ReVisioning American History series. Having just finished the former, I was stoked to see the latter on Edelweiss available for download and review, and immediately snapped it up.

    This book covers the American Revolution through to present day, and covers everything from the juxtaposition of the American Revolution with the Haitian Revolution; the Civil War and Reconstruction; Jim Crow and Juan Crow laws; the

    Much like An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, this book is part of the ReVisioning American History series. Having just finished the former, I was stoked to see the latter on Edelweiss available for download and review, and immediately snapped it up.

    This book covers the American Revolution through to present day, and covers everything from the juxtaposition of the American Revolution with the Haitian Revolution; the Civil War and Reconstruction; Jim Crow and Juan Crow laws; the New Deal and its aim at creating specifically a white middle class; and across the board, emancipatory internationalism.

    Emancipatory internationalism was a new term for me, and I'm kind of in love with it now. (I know I'm a bit late to the game on that one...) Essentially, my understanding is that this pairs internationalism (basically the opposite of insular nationalism, and the idea that we're all global citizens) with emancipation, and the belief that freedom is not possessed by any nation to give or take away from others.

    There were a number of larger takeaways, other than being truly schooled in aspects and viewpoints of history that were never covered in my public school education. It's truly a book (and a series, at least the ones I've read so far) that must be read to be truly appreciated. But here are the takeaways for me, in no particular order:

    -The true realization that our country was NEVER authentically predicated on the idea of success and equality for everyone. Intellectually, I understood the concept, but don't think that I have come quite so face-to-face with the reality until I started diving deeper into history books not written by white men. (This quote from the book really brings it home: "Inequality in American life today is not the result of abstract market forces, nor is it the consequence of the now-discredited 'culture of poverty' thesis. From the outset, inequality was enforced with the whip, the gun, and the United States Constitution.")

    The idea of American exceptionalism (like most ideas of exceptionalism) is a harmful lie. It's been harmful in the past, it continues to be harmful now. ("Make America Great Again" is a prime example.)

    -How much all of our movements owe to other movements across the globe. (This relates back to that whole emancipatory internationalism thing.)

    -It feels like we are nowhere. So many of the things that were included in this book are events that could have happened yesterday. And it's fucking exhausting to think about.

    -The system being stacked against African American and Latinx people of color, especially when it comes to socioeconomics, and specifically how that leads to continued disadvantage, is one of the most frustrating things, and a concept with which a lot of people have a hard time. Personally, my dad is one of them. I've tried to explain to him the concept behind reparations and the lack of inherited wealth, but for someone who came from a lower middle-class background, who didn't inherit actual money when his father died, explaining where that "inherited wealth" comes into his privilege is a frustrating endeavor for both of us.

    -Black women have always been the harbingers and drivers of justice movements. FOLLOW BLACK WOMEN. ELECT BLACK WOMEN. SUPPORT BLACK WOMEN.

    Definitely snag this book when it's released. It's important and relevant and vital.

  • Shari Suarez

    The perfect book for these troubling times. It's the history that we never learn about in school. It looks at the African American and Latinx contributions to history and social justice in the United States. It takes a look at over 200 years of American history and how the Global South figures into it. I highly recommend it.

  • Brad Krautwurst

    My only real criticisms of this book lie in its pacing (it feels like they skipped the entirety of the 1970s and barely mentioned in passing the 1980s in order to get to the 1990s and 2000s). I would have preferred the book simply be longer, but I suspect, inferring from foreword from the previous book in this series I've read (An Indigenous People's History of the United States), this length may have been a limitation put on the author by the publisher. Additionally, as usual with books of this

    My only real criticisms of this book lie in its pacing (it feels like they skipped the entirety of the 1970s and barely mentioned in passing the 1980s in order to get to the 1990s and 2000s). I would have preferred the book simply be longer, but I suspect, inferring from foreword from the previous book in this series I've read (An Indigenous People's History of the United States), this length may have been a limitation put on the author by the publisher. Additionally, as usual with books of this scope, I feel the author could have been a little closer to the chronological markers set forth in the beginning of each chapter. I find it confusing when the author skips from 1900 to 1940 and back again (not an actual example of something in the book, but representative).

    Otherwise, this book is incredible in its scope and honesty about the history of the United States from the perspective of African Americans and Latinx people, and especially in how their struggles have coincided and how much they have historically worked together. At first I was questioning why the need to "lump them together," in my own words before reading this. Now I understand why, although I still think further reading of each individual history would be enlightening, but I look forward to finding that elsewhere.

  • Andre

    Books like this are very important, for they shine a most valuable light on those corners of history that we tend to miss. And any time you look at history from the perspective of the oppressed and despised you are bound to come away with a new orientation. That orientation is explored here to great effect by Paul Ortiz who deftly demonstrates how African Americans were engaged in freedom struggles beyond their own.

    The former enslaved joined with Mexicans in their struggle to throw off the rule

    Books like this are very important, for they shine a most valuable light on those corners of history that we tend to miss. And any time you look at history from the perspective of the oppressed and despised you are bound to come away with a new orientation. That orientation is explored here to great effect by Paul Ortiz who deftly demonstrates how African Americans were engaged in freedom struggles beyond their own.

    The former enslaved joined with Mexicans in their struggle to throw off the rule of Spain and were instrumental in Cuba’s independence. “The Cuban solidarity campaign launched by Black antislavery abolitionists in the heart of Reconstruction was one of the most remarkable social movements in American history. In placing the liberation of Cuba on the same platform with their desperate struggle for equal citizenship in the United States, African Americans from Key West to California created a new kind of freedom movement.” Mr. Ortiz has painstakingly researched this book, if the abundance of notes are any indication and readers will be duly enriched by engaging this text. What Paul Ortiz makes abundantly clear is the lie of American exceptionalism.

    “In a time of increasing diversity, it might be tempting to look beyond the black-white framework that structures race relations and social and economic opportunity. To the contrary, as other racial minorities grow, it becomes increasingly important to address the fundamental question of fairness for African Americans, which affects the fortunes of the other groups. The black-white economic and social divide created by slavery and cemented through years of servitude and subjugation has endured and helped shape America.”

    How is it possible to write, “all men are created equal” while simultaneously holding people in bondage? This book is a correction of sorts to the prevailing and popular history that is held in the collective consciousness of America, “historians shrouded the country’s history in a veil of innocence and exceptionalism, which has undermined the nation’s ability to reform itself to this day.” There are many lessons to avail oneself of, from the Haitian revolution to present day, where a look at the modern worker and the struggle for a fair and living wage takes center stage. The change of narrative will be helpful in changing the US and how it is perceived amongst its citizens. “If American exceptionalism is a harmful fable, then what do we replace it with? We can begin by continuing to learn more about ordinary people’s capacity to create democracy in action.” And he has done a great job of demonstrating that capacity in these pages. Thanks to Edelweiss and Beacon Press for a DRC. Book is on sale now.

  • Ted

    This is the second book I've read from Beacon Press's "ReVisioning American History" series, and this one, like the first (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States"), is poignant and contemporary. In our current environment of anti-anything-that's-not-white-America, the books in this series reveal stories and viewpoints that have been ignored, hidden, or diminished. This book in particular exposes America's foundation in racial capitalism and imperialism, a har

    This is the second book I've read from Beacon Press's "ReVisioning American History" series, and this one, like the first (Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's "An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States"), is poignant and contemporary. In our current environment of anti-anything-that's-not-white-America, the books in this series reveal stories and viewpoints that have been ignored, hidden, or diminished. This book in particular exposes America's foundation in racial capitalism and imperialism, a hard reality to face, but one that must be confronted if we are to achieve any sort of holistic vision of what true equality looks like.

    It's almost cliche to say, but this book contains the history lessons that we didn't learn in school. When I first saw this book, I thought, "how are they going to fit the history of two different groups of people into one book?" I was oblivious to the connected histories of African Americans and Latinx people. Among other things, I did not know that Mexico abolished slavery before the United States did. I did not know that the Underground Railroad took runaway slaves to safety south of the border as well as into the northern states. And I did not know about the immensely ironic move by the Mexican government in the early 1850s to "welcome Black Seminoles, veterans of the Seminole Wars, as border guards to defend Mexico from Texas Rangers, slave catchers, and outlaws."

    All any human being wants is to be able to live free of oppression and hatred; to work and raise families, and support themselves; to be supported by their leaders instead of hindered or, worse, oppressed by them. But the United States has not allowed blacks, Latinx, Native Americans, or any other non-white group to achieve these things. Whether you have been aware of these atrocities, or you are new to the fight, this book should be in your hands and on your mind.

  • Bookworm

    It's an important book that highlights the voices of those we don't hear about far too much. Author Ortiz takes the reader through what it says on the cover: from the Hatian Revolution to the international effects of the US Civil War, Ortiz gives us a history that is unfortunately silenced and perhaps lost in favor of another narrative.

    Honestly, I felt this wasn't quite what I thought it would be. While I was glad to read a history that took us out of the United States and placed history in a mo

    It's an important book that highlights the voices of those we don't hear about far too much. Author Ortiz takes the reader through what it says on the cover: from the Hatian Revolution to the international effects of the US Civil War, Ortiz gives us a history that is unfortunately silenced and perhaps lost in favor of another narrative.

    Honestly, I felt this wasn't quite what I thought it would be. While I was glad to read a history that took us out of the United States and placed history in a more international context I found the book difficult to read. It could be that I lacked familiarity with several of the events Ortiz describes. But there's another review by Publisher's Weekly that really hits it on the head: the book is clearly well-researched but also reads like a series of articles.

    I was surprised that the main text is only about 200 pages and about 20-25% of the book are notes, references, etc. Again, good for research and for looking up stuff but I felt like the book had to be lot thicker to place these events in context and feel less like a series of articles and more of a comprehensive picture. It might not be possible (or the author was constrained by the publisher) to get such a full history but unfortunately I just felt the book didn't quite accomplish what it was trying to do.

    Still, it probably makes for a good reference. I'd borrow it from the library before deciding if you really want to add it to your own library, though.

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