The borderlands of race : Mexican segregation in a South Texas town


    • Nájera, Jennifer R.


The borderlands of race : Mexican segregation in a South Texas town

Jennifer R. Nájera

University of Texas Press, 2015

大学図書館所蔵 件 / 2



Includes bibliographical references (p. 165-176) and index



Throughout much of the twentieth century, Mexican Americans experienced segregation in many areas of public life, but the structure of Mexican segregation differed from the strict racial divides of the Jim Crow South. Factors such as higher socioeconomic status, lighter skin color, and Anglo cultural fluency allowed some Mexican Americans to gain limited access to the Anglo power structure. Paradoxically, however, this partial assimilation made full desegregation more difficult for the rest of the Mexican American community, which continued to experience informal segregation long after federal and state laws officially ended the practice. In this historical ethnography, Jennifer R. Najera offers a layered rendering and analysis of Mexican segregation in a South Texas community in the first half of the twentieth century. Using oral histories and local archives, she brings to life Mexican origin peoples' experiences with segregation. Through their stories and supporting documentary evidence, Najera shows how the ambiguous racial status of Mexican origin people allowed some of them to be exceptions to the rule of Anglo racial dominance. She demonstrates that while such exceptionality might suggest the permeability of the color line, in fact the selective and limited incorporation of Mexicans into Anglo society actually reinforced segregation by creating an illusion that the community had been integrated and no further changes were needed. Najera also reveals how the actions of everyday people ultimately challenged racial/racist ideologies and created meaningful spaces for Mexicans in spheres historically dominated by Anglos.


Acknowledgments Introduction: Mexican Inflections of Ethnography and History Part 1. The Culture of Mexican Segregation 1. The Borderlands of Race and Rights 2. Establishing a Culture of Segregation 3. Formal and Informal Mexican Education within the Context of Segregation 4. An Accommodated Form of Segregation Part 2. Processes of Racial Integration 5. Troubling the Culture of School Segregation: Mexican American Teachers and the Path to Desegregation 6. Surgiendo de la Base: Community Movement and the Desegregation of the Catholic Church Epilogue Notes References Index

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