Compton in My Soul: A Life in Pursuit of Racial Equality (Stanford Studies in Comparative Race and Ethnicity) (Hardcover)

Compton in My Soul: A Life in Pursuit of Racial Equality (Stanford Studies in Comparative Race and Ethnicity) By Albert M. Camarillo Cover Image
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Lessons and inspiration from a lifetime of teaching about race and ethnic relations

When Al Camarillo grew up in Compton, California, racial segregation was the rule. His relatives were among the first Mexican immigrants to settle there--in the only neighborhood where Mexicans were allowed to live. The city's majority was then White, and Compton would shift to a predominantly Black community over Al's youth. Compton in My Soul weaves Al's personal story with histories of this now-infamous place, and illuminates a changing US society--the progress and backslides over half a century for racial equality and educational opportunity.

Entering UCLA in the mid 1960s, Camarillo was among the first students of color, one of only forty-four Mexican Americans on a campus of thousands. He became the first Mexican American in the country to earn a PhD in Chicano/Mexican American history, and established himself as a preeminent US historian with a prestigious appointment at Stanford University. In this candid and warm-hearted memoir, Camarillo offers his career as a vehicle for tracing the evolution of ethnic studies, reflecting on intergenerational struggles to achieve racial equality from the perspective at once of a participant and an historian.

Camarillo's story is a quintessential American chronicle and speaks to the best and worst of who we are as a people and as a nation. He unmasks fundamental contradictions in American life--racial injustice and interracial cooperation, inequality and equal opportunity, racial strife and racial harmony. Even as legacies of inequality still haunt American society, Camarillo writes with a message of hope for a better, more inclusive America--and the aspiration that his life's journey can inspire others as they start down their own path.

About the Author

Albert M. Camarillo is widely regarded as one of the founding scholars of the field of Mexican American history and Chicano Studies. He has been a member of the Stanford University history faculty since 1975, and has served as the President of the Organization of American Historians. Camarillo has published numerous books and essays that examine the experiences of Mexican Americans and other racial and immigrant groups in American cities.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781503638198
ISBN-10: 1503638197
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2024
Pages: 312
Language: English
Series: Stanford Studies in Comparative Race and Ethnicity