Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

Length: 1672 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White Roots of Mexican Americans

Recovering Aztlan : Racial Formation Through a Shared History (1)
Traditionally history of the Americas and American population has been taught in a direction heading west from Europe to the California frontier. In Recovering History, Constructing Race, Martha Mencahca locates the origins of the history of the Americas in a floral pattern where migration from Asia, Europe, and Africa both voluntary and forced converge magnetically in Mexico then spreads out again to the north and northeast. By creating this patters she complicates the idea of race, history, and nationality. The term Mexican, which today refers to a specific nationality in Central America, is instead used as a shared historic and cultural identity of a people who spread from Mexico across the southwest United States. To create this shared identity Menchaca carefully constructs the Mexican race from prehistoric records to current battles for Civil Rights. What emerges is a story in which Anglo-Americans become the illegal immigrants crossing the border into Texas and mestizo Mexicans can earn an upgrade in class distinction through heroic military acts. In short what emerges is a sometimes upside down always creative reinvention of history and the creation of the Mexican "race (?)".

Mexicans, as constructed by Menchaca, are a predominantly mestizo population whose mixed ancestry she traces to early Latin American civilizations. In 200 BC the largest city in the Americas, Teotihuacán, was founded. Teotihuacán would one day be the site of Mexico City, and by 650 AD there were between 120,000 and 250,000 inhabitants. (2) Groups that inhabited the region fro...

... middle of paper ...

...e, history, and blood. The specific commingling that emerges, however, has common roots in its very diversity. Throughout her tale Menchaca's allegiance is clearly to her race, and while the bias comes through, the history she traces is never the less compelling. The strongest achievement of this book is that it fundamentally shifts the gaze of its reader by reifying race and celebrating its complexity.


1. Aztlan is the quasimythylogical homeland of the Chichimec people who were expelled by
their god and traveled south
to found civilizations in Mexico. It is theoretically located in present day New

2. Martha Menchaca, Recovering History, Constructing Race: the Indian, Black, and White
Roots of Mexican Americans
(Texas: University of Texas Press, 2001), 29.

3. Menchaca, 47.

4. Menchaca, 50.

5. Menchaca, 199.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Black Community For Freedom For The Race

- can be identified that Morrison relates violence to oppression. In this case, he asserts that women oppress the society because they do not support its progress. In the book, women have been given the ability to amass power and threaten the authoritarianism of men. On the other hand, the story revolves around the era of civil right. People are oppressed and threatened because of what they believe during this period. It is in the same process that the woman transforms into the victim and oppressed....   [tags: Black people, Race, White people, Race]

Powerful Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

The Black Race, By Christopher Columbus Essay

- While the division of race is apparent, how is it that the issue of race has not been destroyed through the acknowledgment of class achievement. The black race has been a staggering issue that has been eating this nation internally for decades. Based upon U.S history this country’s existence was built on the discovery of this nation by Christopher Columbus, the prime elite class who migrated to this nation, and their elaborate method to operate an institutionalize method to cripple on race while building their economy....   [tags: Black people, Race, Slavery, African American]

Powerful Essays
930 words (2.7 pages)

Essay on Race Between White And Black Students

- Race is involved in education because of teachers. In my opinion, teachers involve race in education as they deal with things in class based on their racial belief. For instance, teachers believe that there has a racial difference between white and black students as white students are smarter than Black students. Therefore, teachers usually put all white students in one group and all black students in another group. This action of teachers not only give their racial belief to all the students in class, but also leave all students with a constructed view of the world as a segregated place where whites and blacks live separately....   [tags: Black people, Race, Education, Racism]

Powerful Essays
1344 words (3.8 pages)

Effects Of The Black Race On African Americans Essay

- An American is anyone that lives in America so if anyone that is black is considered African America if any of their ancestries came from communities of Africa. African Americans are the second largest minority population. A minority is considered the smallest of a group. Although African Americans had a hard time evolving in America their determination, the heart ache and beating of slavery, their desire, and the civil rights movements have shaped African-American lives into what they are dealt with today....   [tags: Race, Black people, African American]

Powerful Essays
796 words (2.3 pages)

An Interpretation Of The Social Construction Of Race Essay

- An Interpretation of the Social Construction of Race The United States is becoming an increasingly diverse country in regards to race and ethnicity. However, there are many misunderstandings and stereotypes regarding different population groups and the issue of race. Race has many definitions and one description given by Rose is that race is a “biological variation including genetic differences in stature, skin color, hair color, facial shape, and other inherited characteristics that may or may not be mutually exclusive in each individual”(Rose, 2013)....   [tags: Black people, African American, Race]

Powerful Essays
1285 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on Race Is A Social Construction

- Race is a social construction made up by whites to help them justify slavery and capturing land. Throughout history, the definition of race changed. People used to believe that it was a biological, but now it is accepted as artificial. Many prejudgments are made based off of race and the stereotypes that are associated with each race. It is common for people to confuse the term race with ethnicity. Ethnicity is a person’s country of origin, the traditions they celebrate and the language they speak....   [tags: Race, Black people, African American, Race]

Powerful Essays
1105 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Gender And Race : The Social Construction Of Race And Gender

- One of the cornerstones of society is the ability to categorize and differentiate between groups of people. Historically, this dissecting and classifying of individuals has been crucial to understanding social order, and who has power within society. One of the most pervasive forms of this in modern times has been the discourse surrounding race and gender. In society, each person has a complex and unique access to power. Power is fixed within society, and determines which groups of people have more control and influence over others....   [tags: White people, Gender, Race, Black people]

Powerful Essays
990 words (2.8 pages)

F. Scott Fitzgerald 's The Catcher Of The Black Race Essay

- Conditioning Let’s start at the beginning, at the flashbacks of Derek’s youth, where the first signs of his innocence being influenced negatively show. It becomes apparent to the viewer where the first signs of his hatred come from. During the flashback where Derek and the rest of the family are sitting having dinner, the subject of Derek’s school studies come up. He begins to speak of a book his teacher has assigned to read, dealing with African American subjects. Right off the bat, his father begins to shoot down the idea that Derek at first supports about interracial relations....   [tags: Black people, Race, White people, Race]

Powerful Essays
1238 words (3.5 pages)

Race Relations : Black And The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses Essay

- Today race relations are a huge topic and issue in our country. With social media comes faster ways to spread videos or information showing poor race relations such as racism and discrimination. This issue has led to not only violence but also deaths in our country. Even though we all can see the problems it causes for everyone, discrimination continues to grow stronger and stronger. In “Train to Rhodesia” and “The prisoner who wore glasses” poor race relations are shown between white and blacks, the most common example of poor race relations....   [tags: White people, Black people, Race, Discrimination]

Powerful Essays
1168 words (3.3 pages)

Constructing Identities Essay

- Nowadays, the fact that popular culture and social media have control over many aspects of society- such as gender roles and sexuality- can no longer be denied. Many of these aspects are what society defines as parts of each individual’s identity, which constructs of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and so forth. In sport and music cultures, the discrepancies among these aspects are very pronounced because such inequalities become how our society constructs identities. Hip-hop music, for example, portrays certain groups of people in our society are being viewed as based on the stereotypes that our society has constructed....   [tags: hip hop, music,social influence]

Powerful Essays
1129 words (3.2 pages)