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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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Different from That Which Is Intended for the Colored Race

Different from That Which Is Intended for the Colored Race

Mexicans and Mexico in Jim Crow Mississippi, 1918–1939

(p.51) Chapter Two Different from That Which Is Intended for the Colored Race
Corazón de Dixie

Julie M. Weise

University of North Carolina Press

Chapter Two shows that from the 1910s through the 1930s, tens of thousands of Mexicans and Mexican Americans who initially lived in Texas moved on to the rural black-white South. Of these, the largest group picked the cotton in the Mississippi Delta. From the start, Mexicanos in Mississippi tasted the brutality and exclusion that the region’s white planters had long used to segregate, terrorize, and control African Americans. Mexicanos responded by fighting back in their daily lives, fleeing to new places, and pursuing a political strategy that engaged the cross-border and cross-class nationalism of the Mexican government and its consulate in New Orleans rather than the institutions, lawyers, and liberal discourses of U.S. citizenship. They battled most intensely from 1925 through 1930, the period when many envisioned a future in the Delta. And though most left the area during the Depression, those who remained at long last reaped the fruits of these labors: they forced local officials to admit them to the privileges of whiteness, decisively separating their futures from those of the region’s African Americans and paving the way for their families’ advancement into the white middle class.

Keywords:   Jim Crow, Mississippi, Whiteness, African Americans, Mississippi Delta, Mexicans, Rural South, Depression, Cotton, Mexico

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