Hispanics Reshape Culture of the South They Bring Diversity, Tension to Area Defined in Black and White

By Suzi Parker, | The Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 1999 | Go to article overview

Hispanics Reshape Culture of the South They Bring Diversity, Tension to Area Defined in Black and White


Suzi Parker,, The Christian Science Monitor


Ricardo Ramirez sees Little Rock as the land of opportunity. For 15 years, Mr. Ramirez and his family lived in California. In the early 1990s, they moved here in search of a bigger piece of the American Dream - grits and all.

Now the family owns the Super Siete, a popular Mexican market and restaurant that doubles as a social bazaar for Hispanics in a primarily black neighborhood. "Arkansas is beautiful for jobs," says Ramirez. "Starting a business is good. It has great chances for good living."

A world of racial technicolor is exploding in the South as the ethos of black and white that has defined the region for more than a century diminishes. Hispanics recognize the South offers escape from crowded and fast-paced cities, where the cost of living is burdensome and crime often too high. The result is a subtle but significant shift in the politics, culture, and even cuisine of a region that has one of the most distinct identities in the United States. The change is bringing new diversity but also new tensions as Hispanics and African-Americans, in particular, compete for jobs in labor-tight urban economies. "Hispanics are a new factor in the South," says Leah Totten of MDC Inc., a North Carolina group that monitors change in the region. "The opportunity for increased tensions among races is much greater if you don't educate about racial diversity early on." The depth of the demographic change is exemplified in Arkansas, which now leads the nation in Hispanic population growth, according to the US Census Bureau. Indeed, a 1998 report shows that the top six Hispanic-growth counties are all in the South - two in the Atlanta area, two in urban North Carolina, one in the Virginia suburbs, and one in Arkansas. In Memphis, local groups expect next year's federal census to count as many as 100,000 Hispanics in the metropolitan area. Until recently, Hispanics were a temporary phenomenon in the South. Migrant workers followed harvests, staying in the region only long enough to pick crops before returning to Mexico, Texas, or California. Now residents and leaders realize they are becoming a permanent part of the culture. "It doesn't bother me that the Mexicans are moving in," says Robert Johnson, an African-American holding a bag of tacos beneath a piata. "I can see where problems would start with gangs and such if the city doesn't keep a close eye on it." New tensions Still, experts see possible areas of contention ahead. Jim Peacock, director of the Center for International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, identifies two concerns. One would be if Hispanics end up taking away jobs from African- Americans - something that has happened in California. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Hispanics Reshape Culture of the South They Bring Diversity, Tension to Area Defined in Black and White
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.