Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Of "White Metropolis" and Its Critics

As of last January, it’s been five years since “White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, 1841-2001” was published. This book received mostly acclaim (more about that momentarily) and, in 2007, a T.R. Fehrenbach Award from the Texas Historical Commission for best work on Texas history (along with two other fine books, “Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas” by James L. Haley and “The Church in the Barrio: Mexican American Ethno-Catholicism in Houston” by Robert R. Treviño.)

In 1995, when I started researching the dissertation that became “White Metropolis,” Dallas historiography was embarrassingly thin and I’m happy to say my book was part of a first “golden age” of scholarship on the city, an era that saw publication of thoughtful books like Patricia Hill’s “Dallas: The Making of a Modern City” (1996), Robert Fairbanks’ “For the City as a Whole: Planning, Politics, and the Public Interest in Dallas, Texas, 1900-1965” and Alan B. Govenar and Jay E. Brakefield’s “Deep Ellum and Central Track: Where the Black and White Worlds Converged” (both in 1998), Ruth P. Morgan’s “Governance by Decree: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act in Dallas” (2004), and Harvey J. Graff’s brilliant deconstruction of the city, “The Dallas Myth: The Making and Unmaking of an American City” (2008). Dallas history is grimly fascinating and I hope that the scholarly momentum the subject gained from 1996 to 2008 continues.

When the book came out in 2006, I was well treated by critics. In “White Metropolis,” I was rough on the Dallas Morning News, but the city’s only daily newspaper gave me almost a full two pages to write an abbreviated version of the text for their “Points” section and Craig Flournoy wrote a rave review that still makes me blush. That modesty doesn’t mean I don’t want to brag. I include here an extended quote:

“This is not an easy book to digest. This is due partly to the nature of the subject matter and partly because the book's narrative thread involves an idea rather than a person. That idea – 'whiteness' – is fascinating. Dr. Phillips argues that Dallas leaders sought to divide and conquer Hispanics, Jews and working-class whites by effectively requiring them to adopt a white identity in exchange for small social and economic concessions.

The results could be heartbreaking. In the late 1930s, one Hispanic child in Dallas told a researcher, 'I don't like being a Mexican. I want to be an American.'

That is exactly the sort of statement that Dallas leaders have wanted the community to forget. It is Dr. Phillips' great achievement to make sure that will not happen.”

To my knowledge, another city publication, “D Magazine,” never published an article about a scholarly book before, but ran a lengthy Q&A with me about “Metropolis.” (They described my book as “provocative” and “gasket-blowing for some.”) The scholarly reviews were thoughtful and supportive, written by a number of academics I highly respect such as my colleague at Collin College, David O’Donald Cullen, Cary D. Wintz, Robert D. Fairbanks (who was kind to me even if I was highly critical of his “For the City as a Whole”) and Guy Lancaster.

As will come of no surprise to my conservative critics, the communists loved me too, with the “People’s Weekly World” raving, “‘White Metropolis’ is a core necessity for every Dallasite who hopes to go beyond omissions, distortions and lies in their city’s history. It is a fundamental tool for everyone who would make Texas better.’”

Enough bragging. Some folks really hated “White Metropolis.” Probably the harshest critique was offered by a former adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University, Dr. Latrese Adkins, at a presentation sponsored by Dallas Heritage Village and the Dallas Historical Society. In late October 2006, I was invited for week of appearances in Dallas in connection with the book. Dr. Adkins, Dr. Roberto Calderon of the University of North Texas, and I appeared on Krys Boyd’s talk show on the Dallas public radio station, KERA-FM, I made some talks at SMU, and the three of us debated Dallas’ racial politics at the Hall of State at Fair Park on October 24. I think our hosts wanted controversy and they set our three-way appearance at Fair Park up as a Point-Counterpoint-Counterpoint, with me delivering a paper before an audience of 200 or so people and the other two professors picking me apart. They had my book and the paper I delivered to the Fair Park audience weeks in advance and I was not given a chance to study their responses.

As the D Magazine “Frontburner” blog put it:

“Dr. LaTrese Adkins . . . cheerfully called [‘White Metropolis’] a ‘monolithic and cursory analysis,’ largely because she said it treated black people as a single group cast in the role of a victim. An African-American who grew up in South Dallas and attended Lincoln High School, she had a few telling distinctions to make.

‘There's not one black anything,’ she said, ‘and there never has been.’ She even said that Phillips did an ‘antagonistic strip search’ on prominent white Dallasites without acknowledging the good things they did, such as having the foresight to assure an ample water supply in times of drought like these. Her deconstruction of the choice of a cover photograph was perhaps the pinnacle of an astonishing performance.”

I don’t recall her exact words regarding the photo during my public crucifixion, but we had a heated conversation off-mike. Referring the picture, which features an African American posing on a cardboard cutout of a train that carries the sign “Leaving Dallas,” she said, “You’re using his black ass to sell books.” I said that I was using the photo as a metaphor; that the title “White Metropolis” was ironic; and that the city had been built by blacks, whites, and browns, but that whites wanted to bury that history, in effect to make blacks disappear from Dallas history as the photo suggested. She replied that that was not what the black man in the photo had intended when he posed for the picture. I suggested that anyone posing in front of a 19th century camera might be bewildered to find the uses those photos have been put to by modern historians. Dr. Adkins was not persuaded.

The D Magazine blogger Glenn Arbery called Adkins’ public flogging of “White Metropolis” a “brilliant onslaught.” I have different words for it. Suffice it say, I don’t think she did a serious job of reading the book. One of my main points was that the African Americans community was not homogenous. African Americans had been divided ethnically as a byproduct both of rape and consensual sex during the slavery era. Since then, they have been torn asunder by economic class and by political ideology. I wrote of the more conservative dealmakers in Dallas’ African American community who were willing to compromise with the city’s white racist power structure and also of the more radical Black Nationalists who belonged to groups like the local chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). I didn’t portray African Americans as victims and devoted a large part in one chapter to the heroics of the city’s largely forgotten civil rights movement -- people like Juanita Craft, A Maceo Smith, and John Leslie Patton – who taught the young to resist oppression and who literally risked life and limb for economic justice and voting rights.

In “White Metropolis,” some African Americans are heroes and others are collaborators, some are self-hating and some are proud. In short, they are imperfect and treated like the Anglos and the Mexican Americans in my pages.

I don’t know what to say about my “strip searching” the Dallas white leadership without “acknowledging the good things they did” like planning for future droughts. “White Metropolis” was a history of racial ideology in Dallas, not a catalog of things the white leadership did or didn’t do. I’m not sure how I could “strip search” a Dallas leadership that over the years murdered three slaves following a kangaroo court trial when the city burned in 1860; encouraged homicidal terrorism against pro-Union Dallasites during Reconstruction; created a Negrophobic culture that made possible the lynching of Allen Brooks in 1910; that flocked to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s; that let health and other essential services deteriorate in black neighborhoods and “Little Mexico” for decades; and that stood by while housing being sold to African Americans in formerly all-white neighborhoods were bombed by white supremacist terrorists in 1940 and 1950. I might note that I once appeared on a panel at the African American Museum in Dallas commemorating the anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott with Pete Johnson, a veteran of the civil rights movement who worked with Dr. King in the Deep South and was active in Dallas in the 1960s. He said that Dallas was, in his words, “worse than Mississippi” in the 1960s. Johnson, apparently, would not find my characterization of white Dallas unfair. I’ll defer to him.

As for using the photo of the African American gentleman to “sell books,” I believe the historian engages in a literary art and if scholars cannot use illustrations as metaphor we have surrendered imagination itself for a empty literalism that will muddle the truth for our readers more than it will illuminate.

Adkins also attacked me for covering 160 years in 267 pages. (“That’s less than 2 pages for each year.”) This was the same criticism leveled at “White Metropolis” by Charles W. Eagles, who authored a review that was unfortunately published in the “American Historical Review.” As Eagles writes, “Between the prologue and afterword, Phillips quickly surveys 160 years of Dallas's history in as many pages.” Of course, “White Metropolis” is a history of the idea of race in one community. Dallasites didn’t meet once a month and say, “O.k., what do we think about race ontologically today?” Ideas evolve over the longue durée, not year by year. If historians like Eagles had their way there would be no analysis of history over epics, only microstudies and Russian novel-length epics. This criticism is silly on its face.

Unfortunately, that was the most thoughtful comment by Eagles, who has no background in Texas or Dallas history or in the field of “whiteness,” which was the theoretical framework for the book. At one point, Eagles knocks me for mentioning that Rice historian John Boles, on the cover of “The South Through Time,” includes a photo of the Dallas skyline even though the city appears nowhere in the index. He then mentions scholars I cite in my book who aren’t in my index. Eagles missed my rather obvious point, which had nothing to do with indexes at all. In “White Metropolis,” I ask repeatedly why Dallas had attracted to little interest from scholars, a phenomena I argue was partly by design from city fathers who found “Big D’s” past disturbing enough that it should be buried. I call the city a “laboratory of forgetfulness.” The absence of Dallas in Boles’ index was not a slap at that scholar, who is brilliant, eloquent and innovative. It is a measure of the Dallas leadership’s successful erasure of its own past. I really expected greater profundity from the “American Historical Review.” Eagles referred to me as being “ascerbic” and my writing as “pungent.” I guess I just proved his point.

The attacks on my book have been minor compared to the assaults over the last decade on whiteness scholarship itself. As noted in “White Metropolis,” the study of whiteness is one of the most rapidly expanding areas of academic research. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, whiteness as an analytical tool reached sufficient respectability to generate a scholarly backlash. A symposium on the value of whiteness scholarship, opened by Eric Arnesen's contentious essay "Whiteness and the Historians' Imagination," occupied most of the fall 2001 issue of International Labor and Working Class History. With relentless hostility toward the genre, Arnesen contends that the idea of whiteness is anachronistic, a term projected by some recent American historians on a nineteenth-century context in which the term would be meaningless. Arnesen argues that immigrants were never literally considered non-white by Anglo-Saxon elites and did not at any time think of themselves as such. He charges whiteness scholars with putting words in their subjects' mouths and of relying heavily on dubious psychohistory, putting long-dead subjects on a couch and analyzing their inner, unarticulated worlds of racial identity.

Whiteness literature, he suggests, has little foundation in traditional archival research. Writers in this field, he charges, primarily quote each other as evidence, rendering whiteness as one big circular discourse. Such scholars, he says, also define whiteness too loosely and inconsistently to make the concept a useful category of analysis. See Arnesen, "Whiteness in the Historians' Imagination," International Labor and Working Class History, no. 60 (fall 2001): 4\-32.

Arnesen's essay too often degenerates into wildly inaccurate ad hominem attacks on historians such as Matthew Frye Jacobson, Neil Foley, and Gunther Peck. Arnesen's accusation that such writers do not ground their arguments in archival research can be easily refuted. One need only scan the extensive bibliographies of works like Matthew Frye Jacobson's Whiteness of a Different Color, Neil Foley's White Scourge, and Peck's Reinventing Free Labor: Padrones and Immigrant Workers in the North American West, 1880\-1930 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000) to reject the charge.

These three books drew evidence from reams of oral histories, contemporary newspaper accounts, census tracts, published proceedings of government hearings, reports released by government bureaucracies, the published works of contemporary thinkers, and manuscript collections. Even a casual review of sources used by these scholars renders Arnesen's attack a prima facie absurdity.

Arnesen's biases shape his exasperation with whiteness scholarship. His prejudices are revealed in his title, "Whiteness in the Historian's Imagination." To Arnesen, imagination is not insight or innovation but is synonymous with fabrication. As Arnesen himself suggests, he is a hard-core empiricist. To him, discourse analysis of architecture, literature, popular song, and other cultural artifacts represents soft scholarship, acceptable perhaps for English departments but disreputable for historians and other "real" scholars. Arnesen fails to acknowledge the degree to which his treasured archives were collected and organized by people shaped in part by prevailing ideologies of race, class, and gender. Without the technique of discourse analysis, scholars using these materials could only echo the hegemonic ideas enshrined therein.

Arnesen is seemingly also too afraid of literary criticism to think of artists and writers as legitimate historical actors whose works reflect in some degree popular ideas of race, class, and gender. Because he seems wary of any source not explicitly spelled out in an archival manuscript, Arnesen's critique suggests that there should be little or no speculation by historians and social scientists on the evolution and role of ideology in shaping society.

To Arnesen and his ally Barbara Jeanne Fields in her "Whiteness, Racism and Identity," (International Labor and Working Class History, no. 60, Fall 2001: 48-56), material conditions are real, but somehow ideas are not. Ideas like race, she argues, cannot take on a "life or their own." Apparently Arnesen and Fields assume that ideas only generate directly from interaction with the material world and that ideas can never spawn other concepts several steps removed from the original, concrete source of inspiration. They apparently do not believe that perception matters or substantively affects a person's status in life or that people can build their lives entirely around ideas that may be delusions.

If Arnesen believes that discussions of racial difference within whiteness are only figurative, he leaps back to his obsessively empiricist literalism when he demands to know at what point marginal whites actually bargained for white identity by accepting racism and eschewing class conflict. He refuses historians the privilege of employing metaphor to describe an historical process. He then damns whiteness scholars for failing to prove, through archival materials, of course, the literal advent of the metaphor.

When Arnesen discusses race, he assumes, even though he admits that races are socially constructed, that once the categories of white, black, brown, red, and yellow were created, they received an immediate permanence and impermeability. In Arnesen's world, no group ever moved across or evaded these admittedly artificial boundaries. Arnesen can do this only by ignoring the struggles of the U.S. Census Bureau to find a suitable racial category for Mexican Americans, for instance. Arnesen also ignores the difficulties Americans courts experienced in fitting Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, and Middle Eastern immigrants on the existing American racial grid, a labor documented amply by Ian F. Haney López.

Meanwhile, if Arnesen takes nineteenth-century Democrats at their word when they describe the Irish as white, he assumes that their contemporaries who referred to the Irish, Jews, Slavs, and others as "races" with innate characteristics differing from whites spoke only figuratively. Arnesen's view seems to be that a pan-white identity formed early on and survived successive waves of immigration to America from Ireland and southern and eastern Europe. Such immigrants, Arnesen suggests, saw themselves as white even as they boarded the boat to the Western Hemisphere. This simple, pan-white European identity would be news on the mother continent, where Europeans still argue whether so-called whites represent a complex web of races. There, conflicts between the neo-fascist Northern League and Sicilians in Italy, between Serbs and Croatians and Bosnian Muslims in the Balkans, and between various mainstream Europeans and Roma (popularly known as Gypsies) across the continent reflect perceptions of not just religious and cultural differences but racial difference as well. See Marek Kohn, The Race Gallery: “The Return of Racial Science” (London: Vintage, 1996), 188-227, 230-231, 251-252.

If they had their way, Arnesen and Fields would virtually shut down explorations of race. Fields cannot simply disagree with whiteness scholars; she attributes to them malevolent motives. To her, whiteness scholarship implies that the struggle of white workers to achieve higher racial status is somehow equivalent to the black struggle for freedom (see Fields' "Whiteness, Racism, and Identity"). Quite the opposite is true and, when reading Fields' critiques of whiteness, one suspects she is not very familiar with the literature. Historians like Roediger argue that white workers were co-opted by racism and measured their progress in relation to their distance from their black peers. The process is portrayed as tragic, not as a heroic tale of assimilation as Fields suggests.

Fields sees any prolonged study of race in and of itself as counterproductive. For scholars to continue studying race, Fields argues, is to prolong the life of the concept, which lost real meaning post-slavery (see her essay "Slavery, Race, and Ideology"). Using race as an independent category of analysis, she has maintained, reifies an ideological construct that obscures the "real" class conflict underneath. Thus, the process of analyzing racial construction promotes racism. This is like the argument by Christian conservatives that providing sex education to teenagers that provides alternatives to total abstinence promotes sexual promiscuity.

Arnesen has no more patience with race scholarship. He contends that whiteness studies offer nothing new because everyone in the academy knows that race is contingent and socially constructed. That most certainly is not true, however, of the general public. Life exists outside of academia, and in the world beyond the university most people still think races are real. The process of race formation, in fact, continues with tragic consequences, as seen with the invention by British colonial rulers of Hutu and Tutsi identities in what became Burundi and Rwanda and the subsequent demented bloodbath that stemmed from those constructs in the 1990s; see Philip Gourevitch, “We Regret to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda” (New York: Picador USA, 1999). The idea of race proved central in the Balkan and Central African holocausts. The emphasis on racial construction by whiteness scholars has, however, provided an alternative worldview that only now is generating a public debate outside of the academy. Arnesen's unconvincing skepticism of joining politics to scholarship aside, convincing a broader audience that race is a fraud not worth killing for is a noble aim worth fighting for and not inconsistent with good history.

Major academic trends prevailing in the rest of the country often take longer to affect Texas historiography. Here, whiteness studies remains a relatively new approach among Lone Star scholars and does not yet constitute a large body of work. Critics outside of the Texas history discipline have complained that whiteness scholars project twentieth-century ideas of race into the past and that the conclusions of historians like Foley concerning an alleged choice by the European ethnic and Mexican working class to be “white” cannot be verified through objective documentation. The harshest criticism of whiteness studies has come from scholars of Tejano history, such as Carlos Kevin Blanton in his essay, “Deconstructing Texas: The Diversity of People, Place, and Historical Imagination in Recent Texas History,” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León’s recent “Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From past Interpretations.”

Blanton claims that works like Foley’s and mine make too much of anti-black racism within the Mexican American community. Blanton has argued that citizenship was a more important issue than racial identity to Mexican Americans such as political activist and education professor George I. Sanchez, not acknowledging the degree to which whiteness subsumed American identity. To Blanton, Mexican Americans simply put a higher priority on their own civil rights struggle than on the African American cause and to assume racism as a motivation is unfair.

“So far . . . this whiteness scholarship in Texas history disappoints more than it delivers,” Blanton argues elsewhere in this book. “ . . . To the extent that Mexican Americans grappled with the whiteness branded upon them by law and fought different kinds of civil rights battles than African Americans, they are stridently condemned by whiteness studies as having engaged in ‘Faustian pacts’ or ‘outright negrophobia.’ Essentially criticizing Mexican Americans for not fighting African Americans' struggles first, these scholars ignore the real connections between both movements . . . These works miscarry their great promise by choosing to ignore nuance, complexity, balance, and interpretive sophistication.”

Blanton mischaracterizes whiteness studies. First of all, he compares chronological apples to oranges. He castigates Foley for not mentioning Latino involvement in Civil Rights struggles of the post-World War II period, when “White Scourge’s” scope reaches only to the period ending at around 1940. In any case, whiteness scholars acknowledge the Latino involvement in the black civil rights movement. Whiteness researchers never depict black-brown relationships as uniformly defined by Mexican racism. In “White Scourge,” Foley describes how Mexicans in Texas helped runaway slaves, and analyzes black-brown marriages and the shared experiences of African Americans and Mexican Americans in dealing with white supremacy.

In “White Metropolis,” I explore the career of Dallas civil rights and labor leader Pancho Medrano, who was deeply and courageously supportive of the African American freedom struggle. At the same time, I note Medrano’s anger at groups like LULAC, which Medrano accused of being often indifferent or hostile to the black civil rights movement. Neither Foley’s work nor mine suggests that Mexican Americans should have placed their struggle for justice on the back burner while they crusaded for black rights. Simple power politics dictate that, in a white supremacist society in which the police, the courts, the media and the schools rest completely in the hands of a hostile Anglo ruling class, Mexican Americans, African Americans and the white working class gain more by joining forces than by directing their anger and frustrations at each other. Anglo elites had money and power. All the black, white and brown working class had on their side was numbers.

Scholars like Blanton seem to be unwilling to confront racism, or even milder racialism, unless it emanates from the Anglo power center. (The fact that I documented instances of Jewish collaboration with segregation apparently did not offend Blanton.) White supremacist thought has deeply marked Mexican history, as demonstrated by scholars such as Alan Knight. Foley and I thoroughly documented the racism within groups such as LULAC. Critics like Blanton choose to ignore statements such as that made by American GI Forum supporter Manuel Avila who, in a letter to AGIF founder Hector Garcia, insisted that Mexican Americans “have to establish we are white then be on the ‘white side’ then we’ll become ‘Americans’ otherwise never.” To overlook the degree to which Mexican Americans may have embraced or rejected white identity ignores a key factor in community formation. Neil Foley’s 2010 work, “Quest for Equality: The Failed Promise of Black-Brown Solidarity” provides abundant documentation that Mexican American Civil Rights leaders like Carlos Castañeda used racist terms like “nigger” in his correspondence and that many in the LULAC leadership believed they would only lose clout if they spoke in favor of African American civil rights.

Rather than assuming that Mexican Americans should have fought “African Americans’ struggles first,” whiteness scholars have illustrated why such an alliance never should have been assumed. Rather than ignoring “nuance, complexity, [and] balance,” whiteness studies have captured the complexities of a Mexican American society caught in a racial crossfire, living at the intersection of two nationalities and experiencing life as both victim and victimizer. Acknowledging that racism played a role in dividing the black, brown, and Anglo working class may not lend itself to a heroic mythic past but demonstrates how a tiny, conservative and white ruling clique has successfully held power in Texas for so many years.
“White Metropolis,” of course, was not only a work on whiteness, but attempts to join Dallas history to the larger discussion of Western and Southern history and how scholars define regions. Hopefully, in the previous pages, I have effectively described how Dallas's business leaders, after the collapse of slavery, sought to rescue the city from the weight of the Southern past by creating a mythological past that tied Dallas to the larger national frontier narrative. I would be remiss if I did not mention how important an influence Richard Slotkin's work was on this book. What I uncovered about the Dallas past was in many ways simply a local version of what Slotkin described in his frontier trilogy.

In “Regeneration Through Violence: The Mythology of the American Frontier, 1600 to 1860,” “The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier in the Age of Industrialization, 1800——1890” and “Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in Twentieth Century America,” Slotkin suggests that white American elites saw the spread of civilization as the racial mission of Anglo Saxons. Slotkin focuses on America's frontier mythology, which echoes Dallas' own Origin Myth. The myth of the frontier depicts the descendents of Europeans as united to conquer wild Indians and a hostile environment. This us-versus-them narrative forged consensus among whites torn by class division. In frontier mythology, the high stakes of the war against savagery presented white America with the stark choice between saving civilization and establishing democracy, which Slotkin argues were perceived as mutually exclusive goals. Thus, the national frontier myth, like Dallas' Origin Myth, rationalized elite political dominance as necessary for racial survival.

Hopefully, Schutze’s still revolutionary book, combined with the “new Dallas scholarship” done by Graff, Fairbanks, Hill and others, will focus more attention by historians to what might be considered the capitol of what journalists call "the red states." What happened in the nineteenth and twentieth "Southern" cities like Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta socially and politically has, by the twenty-first century, already enveloped much of America.

Michael Phillips has authored the following:

White Metropolis: Race, Ethnicity and Religion in Dallas, Texas, 1841-2001 (Austin:  University of Texas Press, 2006)

(with Patrick L. Cox) The House Will Come to Order: How the Texas Speaker Became a Power in State and National Politics. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010)

“Why Is Big Tex Still a White Cowboy? Race, Gender, and the ‘Other Texans’” in Walter Buenger and Arnoldo de León, eds., Beyond Texas Through Time: Breaking Away From Past Interpretations (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2011)

“The Current is Stronger’: Images of Racial Oppression and Resistance in North Texas Black Art During the 1920s and 1930s ”  in Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz, eds., The Harlem Renaissance in the West: The New Negroes’ Western Experience (New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group, 2011)

“Dallas, 1989-2011,” in Richardson Dilworth, ed. Cities in American Political History (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2011)

(With John Anthony Moretta, Keith J. Volonto, Austin Allen, Doug Cantrell and Norwood Andrews), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips. eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume I.   (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Keith J. Volanto), Keith J. Volonto and Michael Phillips, eds., The American Challenge: A New History of the United States, Volume II. (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2012).

(With John Anthony Moretta and Carl J. Luna), Imperial Presidents: The Rise of Executive Power from Roosevelt to Obama  (Wheaton, Il.: Abigail Press, 2013). 

“Texan by Color: The Racialization of the Lone Star State,” in David Cullen and Kyle Wilkison, eds., The Radical Origins of the Texas Right (College Station: University of Texas Press, 2013).

He is currently collaborating, with longtime journalist Betsy Friauf, on a history of African American culture, politics and black intellectuals in the Lone Star State called God Carved in Night’: Black Intellectuals in Texas and the World They Made.


alexander troup said...

I have too say we are in an age and era, things don't work, history is a very old photograph, that even the new European cant seem too appreciate,here I am in a city that has wiped out its culture,created image,then created control that is cool and yet we have no more decades too look back upon,Dallas has lived its wonderful decades and the test is now too come, kind of like moonshine, we are down too the final tap at the still of human conditions,aint no Deep Ellum blues can sooth.....Alexander Troup, Research Urban History...

alexander troup said...

well for 4 decades I had lived in between two areas, freedman town and little Mexico,and the day thing stand in 2014, they are gone....the live of a city even in Ellum is gone, where did it all go, that is the future, we have too accept or abandon...while images,they are Jungian in symbols of what Texas life was in North Texas....