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An African American and Latinx History of the United States

(ReVisioning American History)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  203 ratings  ·  43 reviews
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
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published January 30th 2018 by Beacon Press
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4.26  · 
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 ·  203 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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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
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Books like this are very important, for they shine a most valuable light on those corners of history that we tend to miss. And any time you look at history from the perspective of the oppressed and despised you are bound to come away with a new orientation. That orientation is explored here to great effect by Paul Ortiz who deftly demonstrates how African Americans were engaged in freedom struggles beyond their own.

The former enslaved joined with Mexicans in their struggle to throw off the rule
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
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
Shari Suarez
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Quinton Banks
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really good synopsis of how Black and Brown people similarly struggle against racial capitalism. If you ever want a book that shows just how much organizing and unionizing has helped us, read this book. Comes with tons of citations for further reading too.
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
I love a nice fat notes section
Aug 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Important read. Information and perspective we all need to know.
May 06, 2018 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Lance Eaton
What if we reframed the history of the United States through social, cultural, and political lens of Latin America and African history. That is, most U.S. histories work from a European lens, invoking the influences, historical contexts, and politics of Europe in the making of the U.S. It's to be expected given how much U.S. history has been told in a way to appease white people at the cost of marginalizing and ignoring people of color. But Ortiz takes this approach and crafts a powerful narrati ...more
Diego Campos
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is written by an academic, but is easily accessible to anyone who wants to pick up and read it. The actual subject matter covers 200 pages, but this is a book I'll easily have to read more than once to solidify the wealth of information that's here.

My motivation for reading this book was something of a paradigm shift. The trope is that history is written by the victors, but that does not necessarily mean that the "losers" have nothing important to say. Lately, I've been actively searc
Brad Krautwurst
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished-in-2018
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 ...more
Dan Downing
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cowards, bigots, Trump lovers, haters and general dip shits: don't bother. You won't read this: you can't read this---you'd choke on your own bile.

One deeply moving project I had read/listened too which Paul Ortiz worked on before the present volume was "Remembering Jim Crow," an oral history gleaned from Southern residents.

The present volume is just as heart-wrenching and in the back of one's mind is a constantly running picture of either forgiving grace falling from the hand of a too-good God
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, history, 2019
Paul Ortiz has written an interesting and challenging history of America through African American and Latinx eyes, and, most valuably, the intersection of these two groups. Ortiz's narrative tells the story of black supporters of Cuba Libre, and the ways the Haitian Revolution and other independence movements in Central and South America influenced liberation movements in the U.S.

My frustration with this book was its unevenness, as the book seemed to find its stride in the last two or three chap
Jules Bertaut
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
C.K. Combs
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book exceeded my expectations. I knew it would teach me things about the history of the United States that I did not learn in school. What I didn't realize was the volume, breadth and depth of information purposely held back, rewritten, lied about and manipulated by those hoping to hold on to white supremacy in this country, and the Western Hemisphere.

We begin at the beginning of European colonization of the Americas and proceed to present day, and learn the nature of systemic racism in al
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Less a comprehensive history of two ethnic groups in America than an elongated essay about cooperating for justice, this book shares selected stories of intersectionality, particularly times when Afro-Hispanic coalitions fought for freedom and justice against systems of oppression. Ortiz focuses particularly on the “Emancipatory internationalism [that] had been born in the first stormy years of the republic when African Americans and their allies [including and especially Hispanics] recognized t ...more
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly researched and riveting history from differing viewpoints. Using materials from Black and Hispanic newspapers and personal papers of key historical characters, the author shows some of the various viewpoints. Jose Marti and Ida B. Wells share concerns on treatment of non-white peoples in Cuba and the United States. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote to Cesar Chavez, "Many white Americans of good will have never connected bigotry with economic exploitation. They have deplored prejudice, but ...more
Erin Dodge
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible history exploring the intersections of Black and Latinx history in the Americas with a strong focus on labor and solidarity.

Covering a huge period of time, the author makes clear how vital the struggles for justice in the global south have been, and how Haiti and Mexico in particular have stood as inspiring beacons of justice for oppressed people across the Americas, and inspired anti-slavery and anti-racist struggles in the United States.

Great history of Black and Latinx people i
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I wish more of this history was taught in school. It's an absolute shame that kids don't actually get a fuller understanding of how this country has progressed, or in some cases how it has stayed the same in unfortunate ways. This books does such a good job with what it covers. The author's level of detail is great, he's obviously done his research. It's written in a very accessible way, that detail and research never give a bogged down feeling. This is an incredibly important book and what it c ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I highly, highly recommend this book. So much information I wasn’t taught in school. And so much of this history discussed informs a lot of the problems of today. It isn’t the most in depth history, since it is hundreds of years condensed into less than 200 hundred pages, but I thought it was a great overview. I’m also definitely gonna be reading some of the books the author used for research to read more in depth.
A fantastic look at American history through a much broader lense. My only problem with the book is that it read a lot like a textbook. I struggled to get through the book and frequently had to re-read my notes or previous chapters. I think that speaks more to the depth of the text, but I did find it diffcult to finish.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you want to understand more of the liberation and resistance movements throughout the history of the US, this book is a must read. The connections between our current political and social fault lines were written in our origin story. This book completes so many missing pieces of the true, not whitewashed version of that story.
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Devoured this on a 10-hour flight. Immediately shared the final chapter with my 11th grade students for the last day of school. Very excited to integrate Ortiz’ scholarship and nimble storytelling into my classes.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Great look at how minority groups have consistently worked together towards the common goal of equality. There’s an excellent focus on the intersectionality of race and class (and to a lesser extent gender) discrimination.
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful re-telling of US history from the bottom up, i.e., through the alliances of Black and brown people. it's a thrilling story, much of which I did not know before. it also gives a perspective as to what's happening now.
Deb W
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: left-unfinished
I made it to the third chapter, but given to current political situation I just could not finish it. I despair for the Democracy we never had, and for the little bits of democracy we are steadily losing.

When will people learn that we are a Human race, and we are to be humane?
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kevin Goodwin
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
this was a very good book. It contained a lot of information that I would not of known from any other source. At times it felt like it was very quotation heavy. As a historical reference it was a very convincing narrative through American history from a perspective that is rarely told.
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A must read!
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Required reading for anyone into history, economics, labor rights, and civil rights.

AMAZING book!!!
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ReVisioning American History (5 books)
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