Reconstructing History Constructing Race

By Rodney Grant,2014-04-12 21:51
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Reconstructing History Constructing Race

Reconstructing History Constructing Race


Chapter 1 Notes

“Racial Foundations”

Focus of Book Explore the legacy of racial discrimination for Mexican

     Americans that was established after the Spanish conquest

     and the annexation of the U.S. in northern Mexico; time

    period studied 1570 1898

    Purpose of Read this chapter with the book’s focus in mind and reading associate headings and main ideas to racial discrimination

    being established for Mexican American peoples.

    Key Words Significance Notes

    Textual Due to Anglo Due to mainstream archeologists/anthropologists having Politics of American lack little interest in recovering Mexican American prehistory,

    Neglect of interest and social sciences assumed that poverty among Mexican

     desire to keep Americans resulted from their dysfunctional culture. It

     historical wasn’t until the early 70’s that a group of Mexican

     control, history American anthropologists began to recover their culture’s

     (text) was prehistory.

     written based in

     the dominate Octavio Romano-V was a leader in recovering this history,

     majority’s charging Anglo Americans scholars for directing attention

     political away from Anglo American racism, as well as helping to

     interest. dismantle the social-scientific myths that Mexican

     Accurate American economic problems was not due to familism,

     history was Catholicism, honor, and machismo; instead, these problems

     neglected were due to racism which obstructed Mexican Americans’

     purely for social, economic, and political mobility.


     outcomes, i.e., Since Romano, most social scientists (including

     maintaining anthropologists) study Mexican Americans from a historical

     power for and (post) structural perspective and examine the impact of

     Anglo institutional discrimination on the Mexican American

     Americans. family, individual, and ethnic group.

     It wasn’t until NOTE: Until the early twentieth century, traditional

     late twentieth mainstream scholars neglected to write about Mexican

     century that the Americans’ historic roots and contribution in the Southwest.

     neglect of According to David Weber, this omission resulted in a

     Mexican controlled Anglo American production of U.S. history and

     American failed to describe encounters accurately (e.g., situating

     history was Mexicans and Spainards as villains and savage overlords of

     abated but southwestern Indians).

     much still needs

     to be researched But, the early twentieth century brought Anglo American

     and written. scholars who criticized these historical texts and a new, less

     politically motivated, history was introduced (e.g., the

     Boltonians generated a new image of the Southwest,

     credited Spaniards for the infrastructure, and referred to the

     Indians as noble savages). HOWEVER, other complex

     social relations between the mestizo (a mestizo is a person

     of mixed racial ancestry, especially of mixed European and

     Native American ancestry) colonists and the native peoples

     was ignored denying mestizos their historical roots.

     Weber states that more research needs to be done in this

     area in order to write a more accurate history that does not

     just focus on the Spanish elite. “Once history is

     reconstituted, it can be contested, perhaps revised, and

     eventually accepted as historical fact.”

     NOTE: Menchaca, the author of this book, agrees with

     Weber but due to the racially mixed background of Mexican

     Americans, she adds that additional research on Mexican

     American’s ancient prehistory in Europe and Africa needs

     to be established.

    Aztlán: Menchaca Menchaca states that most, not all, Mexican Americans are History, Myth, agrees that the predominately mestizo: their White heritage began in Spain, or Mexican Indian in Mexico and U.S. Southwest, and Black in West Mythologized American Africa.

    History? indigenous past

     is both in Working class Mexican American college students began

     Mexico and the exploring indigenous past and studied race to contest the

     Southwest view that Brown people were poor due to being culturally

     (originating in deprived and racially inferior.

     Aztlan) but she

     doesn’t agree Political organizations began to develop most particularly to

     the migratory address particular problems in their communities. This was

     past (migrating the birth of the self-imposed label of Chicano and The

     from Aztlan) is Chicano Movement which resulted in organizations like the

     most important; United Farm Workers, Crusades for Justice, and The

     instead, she Chicano Youth Liberation Conference.

     believes the

     historic roots At the Chicano Youth Liberation Conference, Alurista read

     are “embedded the “Epic Poem of Aztlan” which outlined “Mexican

     in a history of American roots in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest and

     conquest, when asserted that they were a Brown people with a long history th Mexican in the Americas.” This was based in 16 century Aztec

     mestizos, history and meant to give Mexican Americans a source of

     Tlaxcalans, pride in their indigenous heritage. He claimed that the

     Aztecs, Otomis, ancestors of Mexican Americans left their homeland in

     and other Aztlan, a place in the Southwest and migrated southward

     Indians from toward central Mexico. It also was an attempt to dispel the

     central Mexico myth that Mexican Americans were only an immigrant

     joined the group to the United States, but that in fact they had

     Spanish in the originated in the Southwest, therefore were indigenous to

     conquest of the the area.


     Chichimeca and This has been debated as myth rather than fact but it was an

     the Southwest. extremely important political development which became

     part of the Mexican American oral tradition AND in textual


     Menchaca agrees that Mexican American indigenous past is

     both in Mexico and the Southwest but she doesn’t agree the

     migratory past is most important; instead, she believes

     historic roots are “embedded in a history of conquest, when

     Mexican mestizos, Tlaxcalans, Aztecs, Otomis, and other

     Indians from central Mexico joined the Spanish in the

     conquest of the Gran Chichimeca and the Southwest.

    The Peoples of This section “The archaeological data found in Mexico and the Mexico and the lists historical Southwest indicate that these areas were populated as early American dates of as 11,000 B.C. Though migration patterns in Mexico and

    Southwest migration the Southwest have been difficult to trace and are currently

     patterns and the center of archaeological debates, scholars agree that

     developments. indigenous groups moved south. The questions of where

     (Last paragraph they came from and what relations evolved between

     summarizes different groups are under investigation. What is certain is

     section skim that farming first appeared in central Mexico and was later

     through section diffused into northern Mexico and finally into the

     for examples southwestern United States. Villages were established

     and details.) throughout both zones, while urban centers were more

     common in Mesoamerica. Long-distance trade developed

     between the peoples of Mexico and the Southwest after the

     Hohokam appeared there, but it probably was minimal,

     because only a few Mexican artifacts have been found in

     southwestern villages. The exact kinship connections

     between the peoples of the Southwest and Mexico are

     uncertain” (pp. 32-33).

    The Chichimec Another listing PT: this is where it is historically certain that a group, and the Aztec of historical Chichimec, claimed their homeland was Aztlan.

     migration and PT: this is where it is historically certain that the Mexica,

     developments one of the 7 Chichimec tribes, became an efficient military,

     BUT became respected, and began to marry within royal families.

     particularly They became ostracized due to barbaric types of activities

     important to the (e.g. the skinning of a royal wife and wearing it) but they

     development of continued to flourish, increasing their population and

     the Aztec strengthening their military. They attacked and conquered

     Empire and the the entire Valley which became the Aztec Empire; then they

     appropriation of moved to conquer peoples outside the Valley of Mexico. It

     Aztlan. is said that once they rose to power, they appropriated the

     account of Aztlan which removed the stigma from their

     Aside: beginnings.

     Definition of

     Aztlan from Author’s PT:

     www.dictionaryStill undecided about whether or not Aztlan is mythological

     .com: or history. Her brother taught it her as a source of pride; her

     In Aztec parents taught it to her as a story about unity and

     legend, the nationhood.

     original home To her brother, Aztlan was one of the most important

     of the Aztec historical memories that Spain could not erase after

     people, held to defeating the Aztec. Her parents did not view the Spaniards

     have been in the same way; in fact, they were the White heritage to her

     located in family.



     SEE Author’s

     PT in notes

    Spain: A A breakdown of Historically, Spain’s people are White rather than History of who is Caucasian; White is an “inclusive term applied to the family Whiteness? considered stocks indigenous to Europe and to the Hamitic and Semitic

     Caucasian vs. peoples who were also part of these subdivisions, but were

     White, as well racially mixed” (p. 37).

     as a historical

     background of Last paragraph: The defeat of the Aztec Empire: “This event

     Spain’s peoples changed the course of history: the Spanish Empire was now

     (where they successfully entrenched in building a colony. To do so, it

     came from) and was necessary to send thousands of Spaniards and a sizable

     the building of slave population. Nearly 200,000 Black slaves from Africa

     the Spanish were exported to assist in the restructuring of Mexico. This

     Empire ending Black population was comparable to the number of migrants

     with Cortes from Spain” (p. 42).

     defeating the

     Aztecs. See last This last paragraph further supports the mistizo background

     paragraph in of Mexican Americans.


    West African Mexican Slave trade in Mexico peaked between 1542 and 1650 with Heritage: The participation in estimated numbers of 150,000 to 200,000. Most slaves were Malinké the slave trade. from Mali.

    West Africa Further Historical account of the conquests within Africa and the

     information on final fall of Mali in which the Portuguese slave trade took

     the arrival of firm hold and converged with Spain’s discovery of the New

     Blacks in World. “Spain began to import thousands of slaves for its

     Mexico. domestic population and for its New World colonies (p. 47).

    Sharon’s The point of this chapter is to establish the Racial Foundation of Mexican Conclusion and Americans. The significance reveals that the racial construction of most

    Thoughts for Mexican Americans is indigenous Indian, White, and Black. It’s easy to future chapters associate part of the title of the book, Recovering History, to this chapter

    because the author is recovering history; I’m interested to find out how the

    author further associates this to Constructing Race. In addition, to understand

    the racial foundation of Mexican Americans is a beginning point to understand

    how racial discrimination was established against Mexican American peoples;

    I expect the author to continue to lead us to understand how racial

    discrimination was established.

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