Co-Sponsored by the History Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northern Illinois University, and the Labor and Working Class History Association
Friday, May 13, 2005
3:00pm-5:00pm, The Newberry Library
Mexican Labor and the Color Line in 1920s Chicago
Anne M. Martinez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
This paper examines how labor and religion shaped the Mexican experience of race in Chicago in the wake of the Mexican Revolution. Between 1910 and 1929 an estimated one million Mexicans - one eighth to one tenth of Mexico's population - migrated to the United States to escape the violence, unrest, and religious persecution of the Mexican Revolution. Those coming to Chicago entered the steel, meat-packing and railroad industries as well as the domain of the Archdiocese of Chicago. I examine how Mexicans were racialized in the workplace as well as in the communities in which they lived and worshiped. I suggest that as at least nominal Catholics, Mexicans had access to a wider range of neighborhoods than Blacks did at the time though they were racialized similarly in the workplace.
Marc Rodriguez, University of Notre Dame
Deborah Kanter, Albion College
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