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Powell's Books Presents Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz in Conversation With Reece Jones
Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In her bold new book, Not "A Nation of Immigrants" (Beacon), historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the U.S.’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today. She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity — founded and built by immigrants — was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good — but inaccurate — story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception. This paradigm shifting new book from the acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and ahistorical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States. Dunbar-Ortiz will be joined in conversation by Reece Jones, author of White Borders: The History of Race and Immigration in the United States From Chinese Exclusion to the Border Wall.

Nov 3, 2021 05:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz grew up in rural Oklahoma in a tenant farming family. She has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than 4 decades and is known for her lifelong commitment to national and international social justice issues. Dunbar-Ortiz is the winner of the 2017 Lannan Cultural Freedom Prize, and is the author or editor of many books, including An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, a recipient of the 2015 American Book Award. She lives in San Francisco.
Reece Jones
Reece Jones is a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow and a professor in and the chair of the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawai‘i. He has researched immigration for over 20 years and is the author of Border Walls and Violent Borders, over 2 dozen journal articles, and 4 edited books. He is editor in chief of the journal Geopolitics and lives in Honolulu with his family. Connect with him on Twitter at @ReeceJonesUH.