This book features the American South, beyond black and white. The Latino population in the South has more than doubled over the past decade. The mass migration of Latin Americans to the U.S. South has led to profound changes in the social, economic, and cultural life of the region and inaugurated a new era in southern history. This multi-disciplinary collection of essays, written by U.S. and Mexican scholars, explores these transformations in rural, urban, and suburban areas of the South. Using a range of different methodologies and approaches, the contributors present in-depth analyses of how immigration from Mexico and Central and South America is changing the South and how immigrants are adapting to the southern context. Among the book's central themes are the social and economic impact of immigration, the resulting shifts in regional culture, new racial dynamics, immigrant incorporation and place-making, and diverse southern responses to Latino newcomers. Various chapters explore ethnic and racial tensions among poultry workers in rural Mississippi and forestry workers in Alabama; the 'Mexicanization' of the urban landscape in Dalton, Georgia; the costs and benefits of Latino labor in North Carolina; the challenges of living in transnational families; immigrant religious practice and community building in metropolitan Atlanta; and the creation of Latino spaces in rural and urban South Carolina and Georgia.
Mary E. Odem (left) is an associate professor of history and women's studies at Emory University. She is the author of numerous publications on the subjects of women, gender, immigration, and ethnicity in U.S. history. Elaine Lacy (right) is professor of history and assistant to the executive vice chancellor at the University of South Carolina, Aiken. She has published numerous articles on Latino immigration to the United States and on Mexican cultural politics.