A book worth reading during these pre-elections months
‘No longer peripheral’, is the title of a piece published by Commonweal magazine on January 30th and it has been for me a good source of information to counter the false political narratives that affect immigrants and particularly Hispanics in this country.But it has given me much more.
This piece is about the work of author, A. K. Sandoval-Strausz, professor of history and director of the Latin Studies Program at Penn State in his book : Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City, where he gives an account of the significant role played by Hispanics in what he calls ‘urban revitalization’.
For those who follow Commonweal Magazine it is undeniable that throughout her pages one can find a good source for reflection in topics or Religion, Politics, and Culture.
In this piece we learn that there are currently 60 million of Hispanics living in the United States and this is not taking into account the large number of undocumented latinos also present in this land.
Latinos are the largest ‘minority group and according to the statistics of 2018 they accounted for 52 percent of the country´s population growth.
The book blends historical, sociological and legal analysis and a chronological narrative of the urban decay of the 1950´s, the waves of Mexican and Caribbean migrations that populated the decaying ‘barrios’ from 1965 to the mid-1980s and the period of recovery that followed.
The work of Sandoval provides facts and insights that will make any Latino/Hispanic proud, as they learn what, may be, they already know: that immigrants are now helping sustain economically distressed rural areas with their labor, purchasing power and possession of land.
In reviewing this book, lawyer and doctoral student in Theology and Education at Boston College, César J. Baldelomar says that Barrio America “ ably maps the journeys of Latino immigrants, forcefully making the case that it is they, and not their detractors, who have made (and indeed keep making) America great”. (A. Cantero)