Winner of a 2005 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award (Honorable Mention)
The Mexican Revolution was a defining moment in the history of race relations, impacting both Mexican and African Americans. For black Westerners, 19101920 did not represent the clear-cut promise of populist power, but a reordering of the complex social hierarchy which had, since the nineteenth century, granted them greater freedom in the borderlands than in the rest of the United States.
Despite its lasting significance, the story of black Americans along the Mexican border has been sorely underreported in the annals of U.S. history. Gerald Horne brings the tale to life in Black and Brown. Drawing on archives on both sides of the border, a host of cutting-edge studies and oral histories, Horne chronicles the political currents which created and then undermined the Mexican border as a relative safe haven for African Americans. His account addresses blacks' role as “Indian fighters,” the relationship between African Americans and immigrants, and the U.S. government's growing fear of black disloyalty, among other essential concerns of the period: the heavy reliance of the U.S. on black soldiers along the border placed white supremacy and national security on a collision course that was ultimately resolved in favor of the latter.
Mining a forgotten chapter in American history, Black and Brown offers tremendous insight into the past and future of race relations along the Mexican border.
“A masterful, elegant work of history...As the African Diaspora grows in importance, and as the surging Latino presence arrests the attention of the nation—Horne puts the relationship between blacks and Mexicans on center stage...A ‘must read’ for all interested in the bold new course of American race-relations.”
-Ben Vinson III,Penn State University, author of Flight: The Story of Virgil Richardson, A Tuskegee Airman in Mexico and Bearing Arms for His Majesty: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico
“This is history plus . . . The road traveled by this expert driver is not an easy straight away but a series of ascending curves, reaching a new mountaintop of understanding.”
-Juan Gómez Quiñones,UCLA
“Gerald Horne is one of America's most outstanding and prolific historians. In his latest work, Horne illustrates the extensive involvement of black Americans in Mexico's revolutionary past. Black and Brown provides a powerful and provocative interpretation of the complex connections linking African Americans with Latin American history. Superbly researched and well-crafted, Black and Brown sets a high standard in the writing of modern social history.”
-Manning Marable,Professor of Public Affairs, History and African-American Studies and Director, Center for Contemporary Black History at Columbia University
“Black and Brown is a book that shows the sides of Jack Johnson and Henry O. Flipper only a serious, politically astute and socially conscious writer and ovserver like Gerald Horne has the insight to delve into and prompt a reader to truly say ‘I didn't know that’ about these otherwise popular personalities of their day.”