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
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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Beautifully written and brimming with insights, Latino City captures the remarkable story of New England's 'Latinization' in the late twentieth century. Chronicling how Dominicans and Puerto Ricans reanimated Lawrence, Massachusetts, after World War II, Barber foregrounds the ways in which U.S. imperialism in the Caribbean drove new demographic changes in that city and elsewhere. A terrific exploration of Latino struggles against deindustrialization, racial violence, and welfare reform as well as the creative ways in which residents of Lawrence remade urban spaces and fashioned new local and transnational politics, Latino City deserves wide attention by scholars and the general public.—Stephen Pitti, Yale University

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