“Latinx” (pronounced “La-teen-ex”) is the gender-neutral term that covers the largest racial minority in the United States, 17 percent of the country. This is the fastest-growing sector of American society, containing the most immigrants. It is the poorest ethnic group in the country, whose political empowerment is altering the balance of forces in a growing number of states. And yet, Latin barely figure in America’s racial conversation—the US census does not even have a category for “Latino.”
In this groundbreaking discussion, Ed Morales explains how Latin political identities are tied to a long Latin American history of mestizaje, translatable as “mixedness” or “hybridity”, and that this border thinking is both a key to understanding bilingual, bicultural Latin cultures and politics and a challenge to America’s infamously black/white racial regime. This searching and long-overdue exploration of a crucial development in American life updates Cornel West’s bestselling Race Matters with a Latin inflection.