Racial Distancing in a Southern City: Latino Immigrants’ Views of Black Americans

Authors


Paula D. McClain is professor of political science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0204. Niambi M. Carter is Ph.D. candidate in political science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0204. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto is Ph.D. candidate in political science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0204. Monique L. Lyle is Ph.D. candidate in political science, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0204. Jeffrey D. Grynaviski is assistant professor of political science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637. Shayla C. Nunnally is assistant professor of political science and Institute of African American Studies, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-1024. Thomas J. Scotto is assistant professor of political science, West Virginia University, Morganstown, WV 26506. J. Alan Kendrick is assistant professor of political science, St. Augustine’s College, Raleigh, NC, 27610. Gerald F. Lackey is graduate student in sociology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210. Kendra Davenport Cotton is Ph.D. candidate in political science, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3210.

Abstract

The United States is undergoing dramatic demographic change, primarily from immigration, and many of the new Latino immigrants are settling in the South. This paper examines hypotheses related to attitudes of Latino immigrants toward black Americans in a Southern city. The analyses are based on a survey of black, white, and Latino residents (n = 500). The results show, for the most part, Latino immigrants hold negative stereotypical views of blacks and feel that they have more in common with whites than with blacks. Yet, whites do not reciprocate in their feelings toward Latinos. Latinos’ negative attitudes toward blacks, however, are modulated by a sense of linked fate with other Latinos. This research is important because the South still contains the largest population of African Americans in the United States, and no section of the country has been more rigidly defined along a black-white racial divide. How these new Latino immigrants situate themselves vis-à-vis black Americans has profound implications for the social and political fabric of the South.

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