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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.
List of Illustrations
Note on Terms and Transliterations
1. From Internal to International Migration
2. Claiming Whiteness: Syrians and Naturalization Law
3. Nation and Migration: Emergent Arabism and Diasporic Nationalism
4. The Lynching of Nola Romey: Syrian Racial Inbetweenness in the Jim Crow South
5. Marriage and Respectability in the Era of Immigration Restriction
Epilogue: Becoming Arab American
Sarah Gualtieri is Associate Professor in the Departments of History and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.
“Thought-provoking book.”—Anouar Majid Journal Of American History
"Direct and accessible. A tour de force of research that demonstrates seemingly unlikely origins, evolutions, and contradictions of social identities."—George Lipsitz, author of Footsteps in the Dark
and American Studies in a Moment of Danger