When Latino migration to the U.S. South became increasingly visible in the 1990s, observers and advocates grasped for ways to analyze “new” racial dramas in the absence of historical reference points. However, as this book is the first to comprehensively document, Mexicans and Mexican Americans have a long history of migration to the U.S. South. Corazón de Dixie recounts the untold histories of Mexicanos’ migrations to New Orleans, Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina as far back as 1910. It follows Mexicanos into the heart of Dixie, where they navigated the Jim Crow system, cultivated community in the cotton fields, purposefully appealed for help to the Mexican government, shaped the southern conservative imagination in the wake of the civil rights movement, and embraced their own version of suburban living at the turn of the twenty-first century.
Rooted in U.S. and Mexican archival research, oral history interviews, and family photographs, Corazón de Dixie unearths not just the facts of Mexicanos’ long-standing presence in the U.S. South but also their own expectations, strategies, and dreams. Published by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Press.
Winner, 2016 Merle Curti Award for best book in U.S. social history, Organization of American Historians.
Co-winner, 2016 CRL James Book Award, Working Class Studies Association.
Honorable Mention, 2016 Theodore Saloutos Award for best book in immigration history, Immigration and Ethnic History Society.
Honorable Mention, 2016 Deep South Book Prize, Summersell Center for the Study of the South.
About the Author
Julie M. Weise is assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon. From 2001-2, she worked in the administration of Mexico’s President Vicente Fox as a speechwriter and researcher for the cabinet-level Office of the President for Mexicans Living Abroad. She has also worked as a translator, paralegal, project manager, and policy researcher at immigration-related agencies in New Haven and Los Angeles.
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In addition to the hundreds of people thanked in Corazón de Dixie’s print acknowledgments, particular thanks for this website go to: the staff of the UO Digital Scholarship Center, particularly Azle Malinao-Alvarez, Sheila Rabun, John Russell, and Julie Simic; David Woken of UO Libraries; Kristin Potter, UO Visualization Specialist; and Lauren Hedge, for help with translations. Thanks also to the people, repositories, and publications that have granted permission for their documents to be republished on this site: Howdy and Mary Ann Thurman, Fort Valley, Georgia; Archivo Histórico Genaro Estrada de la Dirección General del Acervo Histórico Diplomático de la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, Mexico City; the Archives of the Catholic Diocese at Jackson, Mississippi; La Noticia, Charlotte; and Gaston County, North Carolina.
As detailed further in the print acknowledgments, research for the book and website was funded by Yale University, California State University, Long Beach, the University of Oregon, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the School for Advanced Research, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the website or book do not necessarily represent those of these funders.