José Alamillo, "Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

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In Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora (Rutgers University Press, 2020), Professor José Alamillo, a specialist in Chicana/o Studies, Labor, and Sports history, examines the powerful way Mexican Americans have used sports to build transnational networks for personal and community empowerment across the United States and Mexico before the 1960s.

In this meticulously researched book, Alamillo illustrates how sports intersect in the making of a Latina/o identity, civil rights activities, and community. A crucial part of the work centers on the term “Mexican Diaspora” to demonstrate how people of Mexican descent have maintained their cultural identity through sport. Alamillo finds that a sporting Mexican diaspora served as a transnational sporting network, a gendered sporting experiencing, a racial project, a system of displacement, and a consciousness embedded in hybrid sporting identities.

This work is not just a study of boxing, baseball, tennis, or softball. It is a pathbreaking study that connects labor, gender, and sport to demonstrate how Mexican-origin people and the sports industry engaged national conversations of immigration, civil rights, and nationalism. For listeners interested in learning more about the power of sports in shaping the lived experience, they will not be disappointed in Deportes: The Making of a Sporting Mexican Diaspora.

Tiffany Jasmin González, Ph.D. is the Postdoctoral Fellow in Women’s History at the Newcomb Institute of Tulane University. You can follow Tiffany on Twitter @T_J_Gonzalez

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