What happens when a place that is defined as white experiences dynamic racial and ethnic diversification? How does the region reflect the intersection of local and national fears and anxieties? Northwest Arkansas was overwhelmingly White, in some places up to 99 percent, through most of the twentieth century. Then it became home to Vietnamese and Cuban refugees and Latina/o immigrants--each received and cast in dramatically different ways. Guerrero analyzes how social relations are constituted in the labor sphere, particularly the poultry industry, and the legacies of regional history, especially anti-Black violence and racial cleansing. As such, it is among the first books that analyze what constitutes the Nuevo South and how historical legacies shape the reception of new people to the region. Guerrero argues that in order to have a more nuanced understanding of southern communities, more attention needs to be paid to how migrants, immigrants, and refugees—and reactions to them—are altering regional racial mores, meanings, and understandings.
Perla M. Guerrero is Assistant Professor of American Studies and U.S. Latina/o Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is also affiliate faculty with the Asian American Studies Program, the Center for Global Migration Studies, and the Latin American Studies Center. Her research and teaching interests include relational and comparative race and ethnicity with a focus on Latinas/os/xs and Asian Americans, space and place, immigration, labor, U.S. history, and the U.S. South. She has received multiple awards including two from the Smithsonian Institution to be a Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Museum of American History (NMAH).