Latina Political Participation and Activism in the U.S.

Anna Sampaio

Latina Political Participation and Activism in the U.S.
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Latina Political Participation and Activism in the U.S.

Anna Sampaio

Anna Sampaio’s book provides an overview of Latina political participation and activism beginning in the late 19th century, highlighting the history and experiences of the three largest populations of Latinas in the U.S. - Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American women. Sampaio develops the history of Latina political engagement and activism over the course of five main chapters, beginning with a discussion of colonization, naturalization, and immigration focused on U.S. expansion into the Southwest and the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba, and extending through the expansion of Latina/o labor in the first half of the 20th century, the social protest movements of the 60s and 70s, and the shifts in activism over the last 30 years. The book examines Latina political participation in each stage by considering how their identity, activism, and political participation were shaped and how they transformed the political landscape around them. At the same time, Sampaio uses ideas from feminist theory to adopt an analytical lens, highlighting questions of gender, race, class and their intersection throughout the periods of political history examined in these chapters. Whether it is organizing immigrant activists in response to restrictive legislation proposed in Congress, providing feminist critiques of leaders in the Chicano movement, or mobilizing voter turnout in key elections, Latinas have always engaged in politics. Their history of participation is not only central to our understanding of racial, ethnic and gender politics specifically, but American politics generally. This book serves as a tool that will inform students about the changing forms of political activism and participation of Latinas in the U.S. and about the ways that race and gender can serve as modes of analysis for conducting research.

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