Max Krochmal is Associate Professor of History and founding Chair of the Department of Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies at Texas Christian University. His research centers on social movements and coalition-building among Chicanx-Latinx, African American, and white community organizers from the 1930s to present. Krochmal is the author of Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (2016), winner of the OAH’s Frederick Jackson Turner Award, the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Tejas Foco Non-Fiction Book Award, and other prizes. He is co-editor of Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas (2021), a collaborative, interpretive volume which draws on over 500 new interviews with activists in every corner of the state. Krochmal also directs the oral history project and digital humanities website undergirding the text--all of which was supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Collaborative Research Grant (crbb.tcu.edu). His newest projects bookend this previous work, exploring a radical, multiracial union of the 1930s-40s on the one hand and, on the other, examining the role of Chicanx-Latinx activists in the Central American sanctuary/solidarity movement and the Rainbow Coalition of the 1980-90s (and since). In spring 2022, Krochmal will assume the Fulbright-García Robles Chair of U.S. Studies at the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla, México. Applying his scholarship in the community, Krochmal co-chaired the Fort Worth Independent School District Racial Equity Committee, consulted on the district’s Latinx Studies curriculum overlay, and serves on the board of United Fort Worth, a multiracial grassroots social justice organization. A native of Reno, Nevada, he majored in Community Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, before earning graduate degrees in History at Duke University.
NEW IN 2021: Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas (University of Texas Press)
This lecture addresses the Chicano/a Movement of the 1960s and 70s, an example of the new style of Latino/a politics and culture marked by growing collective agency; the use of confrontational tactics; and the embracing of indigenous origins, bilingualism/biculturalism, anti-imperialism, and non-white racial identities. Drawing inspiration from the "los cinco" in Crystal City, the United Farm Workers, and the land grant movement in New Mexico, urban activists transformed old organizations and created new ones such as the Brown Berets, the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), La Raza Unida Party, La Alianza Federal de Mercedes, and the Crusade for Justice. Youth and student activists led many of these “Brown Power” movements, including school walkouts and campaigns for the creation of Chicano Studies. They also built coalitions with Black Power activists. At the same time, the movimiento engendered stringent critiques from within and without, including discussions of the limits of cultural nationalism, the need to better address gender and sexuality, and the ongoing struggle for incorporation and acceptance in the dominant society.