Between Arab and White: Race and Ethnicity in the Early Syrian American Diaspora

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University of California Press, May 6, 2009 - History - 296 pages
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This multifaceted study of Syrian immigration to the United States places Syrians— and Arabs more generally—at the center of discussions about race and racial formation from which they have long been marginalized. Between Arab and White focuses on the first wave of Arab immigration and settlement in the United States in the years before World War II, but also continues the story up to the present. It presents an original analysis of the ways in which people mainly from current day Lebanon and Syria—the largest group of Arabic-speaking immigrants before World War II—came to view themselves in racial terms and position themselves within racial hierarchies as part of a broader process of ethnic identity formation.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
From Internal to International Migration
21
Claiming Whiteness Syrians and Naturalization Laws
52
Nation and Migration Emergent Arabism and Diasporic Nationalism
81
The Lynching of Nola Romey Syrian Racial Inbetweenness in the Jim Crow South
113
Marriage and Respectability in the Era of Immigration Restriction
135
Conclusion
155
Becoming Arab American
165
Notes
191
Bibliography
233
Index
257
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About the author (2009)

Sarah Gualtieri is Associate Professor in the Departments of History and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.

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