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Aragon, Margarita
Languages: English
Types: Doctoral thesis
Subjects:
This thesis explores the contrasting practices and discourses through which African and Mexican Americans were managed and marked as supposedly racial populations. It focuses primarily on Los Angeles and on the first four decades of the 20th century. This focus, however, often shifts temporally and widens geographically, as I excavate the historical roots of each of these processes. I argue that the rigid exclusion of African Americans and the more flexible boundaries placed around Mexican Americans cannot be understood as resulting from variant racial differences but must be examined within the specific historical and material conditions from which they emerged, namely slavery, on the one hand, and conquest and immigration, on the other.\ud After an initial consideration of these circumstances, I trace their ideological and practical consequences in three areas. First, I examine how black and Mexican people were inversely defined within the regime of racial classification and anti- miscegenation law. Next, I examine how black and Mexican ‘difference’ was spatially imposed in the city of Los Angeles. Finally, I consider how patterns of collective violence, and the related segregatory practices of the World War II military reinforced substantially different social boundaries around each group.\ud I base this examination upon a wide range of primary sources, including official documents such as court transcripts, congressional hearings, and FBI reports, as well as popular and academic works from the period. Underlying my argument is the notion that race is produced within historically specific social relations; as such, it demands rather than provides explanation. Though historical in perspective, I believe the questions raised here, and the approach with which I attempt to answer them, will be relevant to more recent debates about the workings of racism, particularly those that focus on multiethnic contexts.
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    • 4.1  'The  result  is  confusion'........................................................................................................... 121   4.2  'A  sickening  mixture':  Mexicans  and  legal  whiteness................................................. 123   4.3  The  One-­‐drop  Rule:  white  Blacks,  black  Whites,  and  the  law  of  hypo-­‐descent128   4.4  'Mexicans  are  Mexicans,  just  as  all  blacks  are  Negroes':  'passing'  and  infra-­‐ group  differences ............................................................................................................................... 132   4.5  Anti-­‐miscegenation  law  and  the  'intention  of  permanency'.................................... 137   4.6  Mexicans  and  intermarriage:  'Good  melting  pot  material'....................................... 143   4.7  'What  is  a  Negro?':  Perez  v.  Lippold  and  California's  miscegenation  statute ... 150   4.8  Conclusion:  Caste  and  'semi-­‐caste,'  or,  The  black  man  rides  Jim  Crow  in  Georgia .................................................................................................................................................................... 155   Bailey M.C., Col. Pearce, Lieut. Col. Frankwood E Williams M.C., and Sergt. Paul O. Komora M.D. Neuropsychiatry in the United States, Vol. X of the Medical Department of the United States in the World War. Washington: US Government Printing Office, 1929.
    • California Constitutional Convention, and J. Ross Browne. Report of the Debates in the Convention of California, on the Formation of the State Constitution, in September and October, 1849. Washington: Printed by John T. Towers, 1850.
    • College, Army War. "Use of Negro Manpower in War." Washington DC: United States Army, 1925.
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Survey of Racial Conditions in the United States." In Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers as President, Official File, Justice Department. Hyde Park, New York: Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, 1943.
    • French, Will J., G. H. Hecke, and Anna L. Saylor. "Mexicans in California, Report of Governor C.C. Young's Mexican Fact-Finding Committee." San Francisco, California: State of California, 1930.
    • McCone, John A. Violence in the City: An End or a Beginning? A Report by the Governor's Commission on the Los Angeles Riots. Los Angeles: State of California, 1965.
    • Perez V Lippold, 198 P.2d 17, 32 Cal. 2d 711 (1948).
    • Subcommittee of the Committee on Naval Affairs. Investigation of Congested Areas: Los Angeles -Long Beach Area, Calif. November 10, 11, 12, and 13, 1943., First Session, 1943.
    • United States Congress. "Hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization: Immigration from the Western Hemipshere." Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1930.
    • ---. "Hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization: Immigration from the Western Hemisphere, Statement of Hon. Joseph P. Cotton, Undersecretary of State." Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1930.
    • ---. "Immigration from Countries of the Western Hemisphere: Hearings." edited by Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, 1-805. Washington D.C.: United States Government Printing Office, 1928.
    • Acuña, Rodolfo. Anything but Mexican: Chicanos in Contemporary Los Angeles. London: Verso, 1995.
    • Alcoff, Linda Martín. "Latinos/as, Asian Americans, and the Black-White Binary." The Journal of Ethics 7, no. 1 (2003): 5 - 27.
    • Almaguer, Tómas. Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.
    • Alvarez, Luis. The Power of the Zoo : Youth Culture and Resistance During World War II. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2008.
    • Arnesen, Eric. "Whiteness and the Historians' Imagination." International Labor and Working-Class History 60 (2001): 3-32.
    • Atkinson, Paul, and Amanda Coffey. "Analysing Documentary Realities." In Qualitative Research: Theory, Practice and Method, edited by David Silverman. London: Sage Publications, 2004.
    • Baker, Peter. "A Splinter on the Race Advisory Board - First Meeting Yields Divergent Views on Finding 'One America'." Washington Post, 1997, A-4.
    • Balderrama, Francisco E., and Raymond Rodriguez. Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.
    • Barrera, Mario. "Are Latinos a Racialized Minority?" Sociological Perspectives 51, no. 2 (2008): 305-24.
    • Berube, Allan. Coming out under Fire: The History of Gay Men and Women in World War Two. New York: Free Press, 1990.
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