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

  • M

    I already knew we were taught a lot of propaganda and misinformation in school but maybe not how much. With school board elections coming up I'm working on some tough questions to ask about our history courses. I don't want my biracial niece being taught a bunch of nonsense.

  • Erika

    A very important historical account of how American racism did not end in the 1960s, like we are led to believe in public high schools around the US. This book is dense, but left me reeling.

  • 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.

  • Jules Bertaut

    This book provides a sweeping introduction to American history from the Revolutionary War era to the present, reinterpreting it through the lense of African-American and Latinx experiences, acts, and thoughts at the times in question. I was expecting something more narrowly-scoped, more like these are particular events of historical importance to Black/Latinx folks, but actually this way of reframing the entirety of US history was pretty cool.

    One difficulty I had was the book assumes you know at

    This book provides a sweeping introduction to American history from the Revolutionary War era to the present, reinterpreting it through the lense of African-American and Latinx experiences, acts, and thoughts at the times in question. I was expecting something more narrowly-scoped, more like these are particular events of historical importance to Black/Latinx folks, but actually this way of reframing the entirety of US history was pretty cool.

    One difficulty I had was the book assumes you know at least a little about Latin American history, and actually I know fuck-all about the history of anywhere outside the US and Western Europe. That was a bit annoying, but now I’m excited to learn about Mexican history and stuff, so that’s good.

    This book is extensively researched and endnoted. I swear it’s like half endnotes. It’s defnitely got the highest text-to-endnotes ratio of any book I’ve read recently. Yay well-researched books!

  • 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.

  • Nicholas Bobbitt

    It's well-written, but I feel like it's really too brief on its topics.

  • 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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