Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South

  • Robert W. Saunders, Sr. Public Library 1505 North Nebraska Avenue Tampa, FL, 33602 United States

How has Latino immigration transformed the South? In what ways is the presence of these newcomers complicating efforts to organize for workplace justice? Based on the six years of collaboration with a workers’ center, Professor Stuesse explores how Black, white, and new Latino Mississippians have lived and understood these transformations, showing that people’s racial identifications and relationships to local industry prove vital to their interpretations of the changes they are experiencing. Illuminating connections between the area’s long history of racial inequality, the industry’s growth and drive to lower labor costs, immigrants’ contested place in contemporary social relations, and workers’ prospects for political mobilization, Stuesse paints a compelling ethnographic portrait of globalization, calling for organizing strategies that bring diverse working communities together in mutual construction of a more just future.