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CorazÓn De DixieMexicanos in the U.S. South since 1910$
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Julie M. Weise

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469624969

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469624969.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 23 February 2020

Mexicans as Europeans

Mexicans as Europeans

Mexican Nationalism and Assimilation in New Orleans, 1910–1939

(p.14) Chapter One Mexicans as Europeans
CorazÓn De Dixie

Julie M. Weise

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter One reconstructs the lives of the roughly 2,000 Mexican immigrants who lived for a time in New Orleans as refugees or economic migrants from Revolution-era Mexico. The chapter argues that nearly all of them—even those who hailed from working class backgrounds and had darker skin—eventually assimilated into white society. Though biological, blood-based ideas of race were at their height in the United States during this period, Mexicanos used culture to wedge their way into white New Orleans. They secured their white status in large part by ignoring the elements of Mexican nationalism that valorized their nation’s self-proclaimed identity of mestizaje, or “mixed” biological inheritance. Thus, their stories also illuminate the powerful influence of U.S. white supremacy on other nations’ projects of self-definition, in this case Mexico’s. Interwar New Orleans is the first case historians have yet uncovered in which Mexicans’ racial trajectory paralleled that of European immigrants much more closely than that of their Mexican counterparts elsewhere in the United States.

Keywords:   New Orleans, Mestizaje, Mexican Revolution, Race, Immigrants, Whiteness, Mexico

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