Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945-2000

Latino City: Immigration and Urban Crisis in Lawrence, Massachusetts, 1945-2000

by Llana Barber

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Latino City explores the transformation of Lawrence, Massachusetts, into New England's first Latino-majority city. Like many industrial cities, Lawrence entered a downward economic spiral in the decades after World War II due to deindustrialization and suburbanization. The arrival of tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the late twentieth century brought new life to the struggling city, but settling in Lawrence was fraught with challenges. Facing hostility from their neighbors, exclusion from local governance, inadequate city services, and limited job prospects, Latinos fought and organized for the right to make a home in the city.

In this book, Llana Barber interweaves the histories of urban crisis in U.S. cities and imperial migration from Latin America. Pushed to migrate by political and economic circumstances shaped by the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, poor and working-class Latinos then had to reckon with the segregation, joblessness, disinvestment, and profound stigma that plagued U.S. cities during the crisis era, particularly in the Rust Belt. For many Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, there was no "American Dream" awaiting them in Lawrence; instead, Latinos struggled to build lives for themselves in the ruins of industrial America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469631356
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 03/08/2017
Series: Justice, Power, and Politics
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 1,057,491
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Llana Barber is associate professor of American studies at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury.

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From the Publisher

Latino City offers an essential lens for understanding the national and global histories of immigration and of U.S. cities in the second half of the twentieth century. In recounting the history of Lawrence, and the stories of the Dominican, Puerto Rican, and other Latino migrants who saved it from abandonment and decay, Barber emphasizes the disjuncture between the revitalization that these Latinos brought to the city and the appalling racism, abuse, exclusion, and brutality that they faced in everyday life.—A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, University of New Mexico

Llana Barber offers a welcome addition to the growing literature on Latinos/as in the urban North. Drawing on vivid oral history interviews and rich data, she gives readers an intimate view of how Latinos/as in Lawrence encountered the urban crisis, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s. Barber presents an ideal model for interethnic Latino/a urban history, one that reminds us that Latinos/as have lived among one another in ethnically diverse communities and that they migrated to smaller cities beyond New York, Chicago, and Miami in the postwar years.—Lilia Fernandez, Brown in the Windy City: Mexicans and Puerto Ricans in Postwar Chicago

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