Max Krochmal, "Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era" (UNC, 2016)


Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press, 2016) is about the "other" Texas, not the state known for its cowboy conservatism, but a mid-twentieth-century hotbed of community organizing, liberal politics, and civil rights activism. Beginning in the 1930s, the author tells the story of the decades-long struggle for democracy in Texas, when African American, Mexican American, and white labor and community activists gradually came together to empower the states marginalized minorities. At the ballot box and in the streets, these diverse activists demanded not only integration but economic justice, labor rights, and real political power for all. Their efforts gave rise to the Democratic Coalition of the 1960s, a militant, multiracial alliance that would take on and eventually overthrow both Jim Crow and Juan Crow. Using rare archival sources and original oral history interviews, historian Max Krochmal reveals the often-overlooked democratic foundations and liberal tradition of one of our nation's most conservative states. Blue Texas recalls the many forgotten activists who, by crossing racial lines and building coalitions, democratized their cities and state to a degree that would have been unimaginable just a decade earlier and shows why their story still matters today. Max Krochmal is an associate professor of history and founding director of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University. Krochmal is also the founder and director of the Civil Rights in Black and Brown Oral History Project, a statewide collaborative research initiative and digital humanities website that received a collaborative research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. His research and teaching center on African American and Chicano/a-Latino/a civil rights and labor histories and their present-day ramifications. Krochmal is a native of Reno, Nevada, and attended undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Cruz before earning his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University.
James P. Stancil II is an educator, multimedia journalist, and writer. He is also the President and CEO of Intellect U Well, Inc. a Houston-area NGO dedicated to increasing the joy of reading and media literacy in young people. He can be reached most easily through his LinkedIn page or at

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