Throughout many American classrooms, students learn how the United States was formed, and most importantly, the historical figures who helped produce the contemporary nation...

Throughout many American classrooms, students learn how the United States was formed, and most importantly, the historical figures who helped produce the contemporary nation we occupy. All too often, however, African American, Latinx, and Native Americans are not given similar attention. Rather, they are depicted as passive receivers of what those of European-descent pushed upon them.

In An African American and Latinx History of the United States (Beacon Press, 2017), Paul Ortiz attempts to bring more balance to this picture. By employing a bottom-up approach, Ortiz shows how central black and brown solidarities were to the political history of the United States. Ortiz’s is a narrative history spanning two hundred-plus years of African Americans, Latinx, and Native Americans expanding what freedom and justice in the United States meant by challenging American exceptionalism, imperialism, and colonialism as much as possible.


Adam McNeil is a graduating M.A in History student at Simmons College in Boston, MA. He graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University in Fall 2015 with B.S. in History. Adam can be reached at @CulturedModesty.

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