Making the Latino South

A History of Racial Formation

By Cecilia Márquez

284 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 19 halftones, 1 table, notes, index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-7605-0
    Published: September 2023
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-7604-3
    Published: September 2023
  • E-book EPUB ISBN: 978-1-4696-7606-7
    Published: August 2023
  • E-book PDF ISBN: 979-8-8908-6174-0
    Published: August 2023

Latinx Histories

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Awards & distinctions

Honorable Mention, 2024 Theodore Saloutos Book Prize, Immigration and Ethnic History Society

In the 1940s South, it seemed that non-Black Latino people were on the road to whiteness. In fact, in many places throughout the region governed by Jim Crow, they were able to attend white schools, live in white neighborhoods, and marry white southerners. However, by the early 2000s, Latino people in the South were routinely cast as "illegal aliens" and targeted by some of the harshest anti-immigrant legislation in the country. This book helps explain how race evolved so dramatically for this population over the course of the second half of the twentieth century.

Cecilia Márquez guides readers through time and place from Washington, DC, to the deep South, tracing how non-Black Latino people moved through the region’s evolving racial landscape. In considering Latino presence in the South’s schools, its workplaces, its tourist destinations, and more, Márquez tells a challenging story of race-making that defies easy narratives of progressive change and promises to reshape the broader American histories of Jim Crow, the civil rights movement, immigration, work, and culture.

About the Author

Cecilia Márquez is Hunt Family Assistant Professor of History at Duke University.
For more information about Cecilia Márquez, visit the Author Page.


"Marquez's field-changing history of the US South is the first to show us why racial diversity within categories such as 'Mexican' or 'Latino' matters for the region’s past and future."—Julie Weise, University of Oregon

"It is common to say that Latinos occupy every point along a racial spectrum from Black to White, but Cecilia Márquez brilliantly shows how the racial identity of Latinos is constructed in relation to these and other identities. The result is a stunningly original work on race in a storied region, with Latinos at the center."--Geraldo L. Cadava, Northwestern University