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America Beyond Black and White: How Immigrants and Fusions Are Helping Us Overcome the Racial Divide (Contemporary Political and Social Issues) Paperback – December 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fernandez, a professor of sociology in the criminal justice department at Central Connecticut State, discusses the impact of immigration on America's economy and culture, proposing that rampant racial bigotry, rather than the unchecked influx of immigrants, is what threatens to tear society apart. After covering the history of U.S. immigration law, the economic role of immigrant labor in maintaining large-scale agriculture, and the cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean, Fernandez contends that as long as whites are the "designer originals," while the rest of the population are "knockoffs," immigrants will not be assimilated into U.S. culture. Dedicated to his grandson, "a fantastic fusion of Columbian, French, Irish, Japanese and Spanish heritages," Fernandez's book suggests that the prejudice that sustains the dominance of whites can be undone by racial mixing, ultimately making Americans "one race, united in peace and driven by our desire to celebrate a nation of all-American fusions." Utopian perhaps and confrontational certainly, but definitely thought provoking.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary Political and Social Issues
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (December 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472033204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472033201
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,983,258 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Cielo on November 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an interesting, compact, eminently readable book, loaded with (unfortunately) ugly information about immigration laws, social attitudes about race, and our even uglier obsession with black and white. Although the book is full of depressing facts and figures, Fernandez finds energy and enthusiasm in our diversity, and makes this almost a "how-to" book, by challenging the reader to stop defining our country and its inhabitants in black and white terms. Once we understand how we got into such dichotomous thinking about race, we can stop doing it. Sure it's hard to avoid categorizing people by skin color but each of us can contribute our part by paying attention to what we say and how we think. This book has shown me how to make a positive difference in the world every single day. It probably helps that I am acquainted with the author--I work at the university where he teaches. Fernandez is as open minded, curious, tolerant and sharp as they come. No matter though since I'd give five stars to whoever wrote it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Antonio Garcia-Lozada on September 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This fascinating book, moving beyond classic sociology's approaches to immigrant acculturation and on the basis of ethnographic fieldwork; propose a great reflection upon us to bridge -or erase- the gaps between newcomers and the U.S. society. Fernández examines the extraordinary contributions of the immigrants to this country. Moreover, he invites us to think and redefine our culture and reduce the obsession over who we are as a human being, about how we fit into a nation that continues to treat us as outsiders after all this time. Remarkably timely book when the politicians are campaigning for the presidency of the U.S. The book also includes data from the US presidential libraries but real facts based on experiences with diverse people who don't necessarily see themselves as political activists at all. With unique style and punctual ideas, Fernández demystifies ethnic markers and skepticisms of our presence. After reading this book, I feel that I am belonging to this society.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Serafin Mendez on September 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In reading Dr. Fernandez' work, I marvel as his ability to capture the significance and relevance of immigrants in the fabric of American society. Amazing research, brilliant analisis and real contribution to the much polarized discourse on America's immigration. Dr. Fernandez has aptly captured how the current migratory trends have challenged racial definitions to the point that they will hopefully unite the racial divide that has plagued the United States since Reconstruction and have been responsible for the fracturing of American society. I am gay, I am Puerto Rican, I am American. Fernandez has helped me to realize that I am none and all of the above.
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