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Books That Matter: Borderlands

An anti-racist social justice bookshelf that highlights specific books as a way to increase visibility and include everyone!

Borderlands Gallery

One woman with a fist up and a child holding a pot

U. S. Central Americans: Reconstructing Memories, Struggles, and Communities of Resistance by Karina Oliva Alvarado, Alicia Ivonne Estrada, Ester E. Hernández

Call Number:  E184.C34 U35 2017 

ISBN:  9780816534067

Publication Date: 2017

In summer 2014, a surge of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America to the United States gained mainstream visibility--yet migration from Central America has been happening for decades. U.S. Central Americans explores the shared yet distinctive experiences, histories, and cultures of 1.5-and second-generation Central Americans in the United States. While much has been written about U.S. and Central American military, economic, and political relations, this is the first book to articulate the rich and dynamic cultures, stories, and historical memories of Central American communities in the United States. Contributors to this anthology--often writing from their own experiences as members of this community--articulate U.S. Central Americans' unique identities as they also explore the contradictions found within this multivocal group.

Multiple women with one holding a baby, other with a fist up along with a mural in the background with women

Disposable Domestics: Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy by Grace Chang

Call Number:   HD6095 .C48 2016  

ISBN:  9781608465286

Publication Date: 2016

Also available as an ebook

Illegal. Unamerican. Disposable. In a nation with an unprecedented history of immigration, the prevailing image of those who cross our borders in search of equal opportunity is that of a drain. Grace Chang's vital account of immigrant women--who work as nannies, domestic workers, janitors, nursing aides, and homecare workers--proves just the opposite: the women who perform our least desirable jobs are the most crucial to our economy and society. Disposable Domestics highlights the unrewarded work immigrant women perform as caregivers, cleaners, and servers and shows how these women are actively resisting the exploitation they face.

Mutiple kids outside a facility along with adults that are fully white clothing

At the Border of Empires: the Tohono O'odham, gender, and assimilation, 1880--1934 by Andrae M. Marak (Andrae Micheal), Laura Tuennerman 

Call Number:    E99.P25 M37 2013  

ISBN:    9780816521159 

Publication Date: 2013

Also available as an ebook

The story of the Tohono O'odham peoples offers an important account of assimilation. Bifurcated by a border demarcating Mexico and the United States that was imposed on them after the Gadsden Purchase in 1853, the Tohono O'odham lived at the edge of two empires. By focusing on gender norms and ideals in the assimilation of the Tohono O'odham, At the Border of Empires provides a lens for looking at both Native American history and broader societal ideas about femininity, masculinity, and empire around the turn of the twentieth century.

Person holder a door walking by a fence up terrain

Seeing Like a Smuggler: Borders from Below by Mahmoud Keshavarz, Shahram Khosravi

Call Number:    POL-84302 2022  

ISBN:   9780745341613

Publication Date: 2022

Also available as an ebook

'This conceptually vivid book refreshes our vision' - Ruth Wilson Gilmore The word smuggler often unleashes a simplified, negative image painted by the media and the authorities. Such state-centric perspectives hide many social, political and economic relations generated by smuggling. This book looks at the practice through the eyes of the smugglers, revealing how their work can be productive, subversive and deeply sociopolitical. By tracing the illegalised movement of people and goods across borders, Seeing Like a Smuggler shows smuggling as a contradiction within the nation-state system, and in a dialectical relation with the national order of things. It raises questions on how smuggling engages and unsettles the ethics, materialities, visualities, histories and the colonial power relations that form borders and bordering. Covering a wide spectrum of approaches from personal reflections and ethnographies to historical accounts, cultural analysis and visual essays, the book spans the globe from Colombia to Ethiopia, Singapore to Guatemala, Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and from Kurdistan to Bangladesh, to show how people deal with global inequalities and the restrictions of poverty and immobility.

head of the statute of liberty in red coloring

Not "A Nation of Immigrants" : Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, And A History of Erasure and Exclusion by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz 

Call Number: E175 .D86 2021

ISBN:   9780807055588

Publication Date: 2021

Debunks the pervasive and self-congratulatory myth that our country is proudly founded by and for immigrants, and urges readers to embrace a more complex and honest history of the United States Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US's history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today. She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity-founded and built by immigrants-was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good--but inaccurate--story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception. While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.

black and white photograph of a Japanese Mexican family with a background of barbed wire below

Uprooting Community: Japanese Mexicans, World War II, and the U. S.-Mexico Borderlands by Selfa A. Chew

Call Number: F1392.J3 S65 2015

ISBN:   9780816534180

Publication Date: 2015

Also available as an ebook

Joining the U.S.' war effort in 1942, Mexican President Manuel Ávila Camacho ordered the dislocation of Japanese Mexican communities and approved the creation of internment camps and zones of confinement. Under this relocation program, a new pro-American nationalism developed in Mexico that scripted Japanese Mexicans as an internal racial enemy. In spite of the broad resistance presented by the communities wherein they were valued members, Japanese Mexicans lost their freedom, property, and lives. In Uprooting Community, Selfa A. Chew examines the lived experience of Japanese Mexicans in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands during World War II. Studying the collaboration of Latin American nation-states with the U.S. government, Chew illuminates the efforts to detain, deport, and confine Japanese residents and Japanese-descent citizens of Latin American countries during World War II. These narratives challenge the notion that Japanese Mexicans enjoyed the protection of the Mexican government during the war and refute the mistaken idea that Japanese immigrants and their descendants were not subjected to internment in Mexico during this period. Through her research, Chew provides evidence that, despite the principles of racial democracy espoused by the Mexican elite, Japanese Mexicans were in fact victims of racial prejudice bolstered by the political alliances between the United States and Mexico. The treatment of the ethnic Japanese in Mexico was even harsher than what Japanese immigrants and their children in the United States endured during the war, according to Chew. She argues that the number of persons affected during World War II extended beyond the first-generation Japanese immigrants "handled" by the Mexican government during this period, noting instead that the entire multiethnic social fabric of the borderlands was reconfigured by the absence of Japanese Mexicans.

on left side there's a women and man with a hat overlooking a field of workers picking crops

That's Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo! by Carmen Tafolla

Call Number: HD6509.T46 T34 2008

ISBN:   9780916727338

Publication Date: 2008

A vivid depiction of the early injustices encountered by a young Mexican-American girl in San Antonio in the 1920's, this book tells the true story of Emma Tenayuca. Emma learns to care deeply about poverty and hunger during a time when many Mexican Americans were starving to death and working unreasonably long hours at slave wages in the city's pecan-shelling factories. Through astute perception, caring, and personal action, Emma begins to get involved and eventually, at the age of 21, leads 12,000 workers in the first significant historical action in the Mexican-American struggle for justice. Emma Tenayuca's story serves as a model for young and old alike about courage, compassion, and the role everyone can play in making the world fairer. Una representación vívida de las injusticias con las que se encuentra una joven mexicano-americana en San Antonio en las décadas de 1920 y 1930, este libro cuenta la historia verdadera de Emma Tenayuca. Emma aprende a preocuparse por la pobreza y el hambre durante una época cuando muchos mexicano-americanos se morían de inanición y trabajaban horas excesivamente largas por sueldos exiguos en las fábricas de pacana. A través de percepción perspicaz, un buen corazón y acción personal, Emma empieza a involucrarse y al final, a los 21 años, lleva a 12.000 trabajadores a tomar acción por la primera vez en la historia de la lucha mexicano-americana por la justicia. El relato de Emma Tenayuca sirve de modelo para tanto los jóvenes como los adultos sobre el valor, la compasión y el papel que puede desempeña quienquiera en hacer más justo el mundo.