Max Krochmal is Professor of U.S. History, the Czech Republic Endowed Professor and Director in Justice, and the Director of the Ph.D. in Justice Studies at the University of New Orleans. A committed scholar-activist, Krochmal is the award-winning author of Blue Texas: The Making of a Multiracial Democratic Coalition in the Civil Rights Era (University of North Carolina Press) and co-editor of Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas (University of Texas Press). He also directed the NEW IN 2021: Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas (University of Texas Press)
Contrary to popular belief, Texas has a long tradition of organic radicalism, antiracist community organizing, and multiracial political coalitions. Yet the true stories of grassroots activism and of building alliances across the color line have been silenced and erased. This workshop will help participants recover that tale across the history of 20th century Texas and also shed light on one local example of present-day organizing, in the unexpected locale of Fort Worth. Mixing interactive workshop with conventional lecture, Dr. Krochmal will first lead a discussion of common (mis)perceptions of Black/Brown relations, including the mass media narratives of immutable competition and the historical/social scientific myth of Mexican American whiteness. The scholar and audience will next examine intra-racial tensions and forces that produce possibilities for inter-racial coalition-building. Next, Krochmal will present several forgotten examples of Black/Brown alliances in Texas history, including in San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas from the 1930s to the 1970s, and then share the more recent history of United Fort Worth, a multiracial grassroots organization that is rapidly dragging Cowtown into the 21st century. Last, the group will brainstorm how these examples can inform present-day struggles against racism/xenophobia in their local communities and governments, public school districts, and higher education.