Black-Brown Solidarity

Black-Brown Solidarity: Racial Politics in the New Gulf South

JOHN D. MÁRQUEZ
Copyright Date: 2013
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7560/753877
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  • Book Info
    Black-Brown Solidarity
    Book Description:

    Houston is the largest city in the Gulf South, a region sometimes referred to as the "black belt" because of its sizeable African American population. Yet, over the last thirty years, Latinos have become the largest ethnic minority in Houston, which is surpassed only by Los Angeles and New York in the number of Latino residents. Examining the history and effects of this phenomenon,Black-Brown Solidaritydescribes the outcomes of unexpected coalitions that have formed between the rapidly growing Latino populations and the long-held black enclaves in the region.

    Together, minority residents have put the spotlight on prominent Old South issues such as racial profiling and police brutality. Expressions of solidarity, John D. Márquez argues, have manifested themselves in expressive forms such as hip-hop music, youth gang cultural traits, and the storytelling of ordinary residents in working-class communities. Contrary to a growing discourse regarding black-brown conflict across the United States, the blurring of racial boundaries reflects broader arguments regarding hybrid cultures that unsettle the orders established by centuries-old colonial formations. Accentuating what the author defines as a racial state of expendability-the lynchpin of vigilante violence and police brutality-the new hybridization has resulted in shared wariness of a linked fate.Black-Brown Solidarityalso explores the ways in which the significance of African American history in the South has influenced the structures through which Latinos have endured and responded to expendability. Mining data from historical archives, oral histories, legal documents, popular media, and other sources, this work is a major contribution to urban studies, ethnic studies, and critical race theory.

    eISBN: 978-0-292-75388-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-xiv)
  4. INTRODUCTION: HYBRID SUBJECTIVITIES
    (pp. 1-31)

    My parents are a chicano and a chicana. One was born in the United States and one in Mexico. Both were raised in El Paso, Texas, a town that predates the United States and was established by Spanish missionaries and conquistadors and their Tigua-Pueblo allies who fled the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Both my parents graduated from Ysleta High School in El Paso and were employed at a textile mill near their home that in the early 1970s was in the midst of a tense labor strike. As their economic standing became increasingly destabilized by that struggle, they decided to...

  5. CHAPTER ONE FOUNDATIONAL BLACKNESS AND THE RACIAL STATE OF EXPENDABILITY
    (pp. 32-64)

    This chapter has two central purposes. The first is to introduce the Houston area as a “contact zone,” a term I borrow from Mary Louise Pratt to describe a space that is demographically, geographically, and historically unique for the kinds of interactions between black and Latino/a lives that I am mapping.¹ The chapter’s second purpose is to introduce two conceptual models I have developed to make sense of these interactions and to describe their broader political significance. Those models are the racial state of expendability and foundational blackness.

    The former is a model I introduce to suggest how expressions of...

  6. CHAPTER TWO BLACK GOLD AND BROWN BODIES: EARLY BAYTOWN
    (pp. 65-113)

    I set out four objectives in this chapter. The first is to demonstrate that anti-black violence was foundational to how communities like Baytown were established during the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. That barbarism was primarily exercised in the form of vigilante and police terror during the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Important gender and sexual dynamics characterized this violence, as it targeted black men in particular and was often legitimated as a necessary method to police and repress black masculinity as a potential emblem of black empowerment that unsettled white-supremacist discourse. At the time, Latinos/as were either nonexistent in...

  7. CHAPTER THREE SUBJECTIVITIES, CHOPPED AND SCREWED: NEOLIBERALISM AND ITS AFTERMATH
    (pp. 114-160)

    In this chapter i argue that neoliberal shifts affecting the U.S. oil industry in the late twentieth century contributed to the kinds of hybrid subjectivities and increased expressions of black-brown solidarity that began to emerge in Houston-area communities. The shifts included an influx of more working-class African Americans and Latinos/as and the arrival of more immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean who helped diversify politics in communities like Baytown.

    When Baytown’s and Houston’s black and Latino/a populations surged after World War II, police brutality began to replace vigilante violence as the method through which the region’s history of rigid...

  8. CHAPTER FOUR RODNEY KING EN ESPAÑOL: BAYTOWNʹS ACTIVIST AWAKENING
    (pp. 161-193)

    In this chapter i argue that baytown’s war on gangs in the 1990s exacerbated the expendability of working-class black and Latino/a communities there and contributed to the death of Luis Alfonso Torres in 2002. Torres, as described earlier, was a forty-five-year-old Mexican immigrant who lost his life while in custody of Baytown police officers. His death and the activist awakening it spawned among Baytown’s black and Latino/a communities symbolize three phenomena that have been central to this book’s design. The first is the browning of the region, the boom of the Latino/a population over recent decades primarily from immigration from...

  9. CONCLUSION: MORAL WITNESSES AND MOTHER ʹHOODS
    (pp. 194-208)

    My goal in this conclusion is twofold. First, I aim to justify Baytown’s activist awakening as an example of black-Latino/a solidarity but also as a critique of postracial discourse and its effects. The awakening demonstrates that communities in the Gulf South, like communities across the South and Southwest, are just beginning to experience the amalgamation of structural and psychosocial characteristics that social-movements theorist Aldon Morris has described as creating an indigenous base for effective antiracist activism to be waged.¹ The civil rights struggle is then ongoing. It did not end in 1968. Indigenous bases now are more commonly multiracial, often...

  10. NOTES
    (pp. 209-234)
  11. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 235-256)
  12. INDEX
    (pp. 257-271)