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Sarah McNamara book conversation at Oxford Exchange
July 9 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm$24.95
Join Sarah McNamara in conversation with Rodney Kite Powell to learn about her new book YBOR CITY: CRUCIBLE OF THE LATINA SOUTH
About the book | Ybor City: Crucible of the Latina South
When we think about the origins of Cuban immigration to the United States, we often imagine the anti-Communist exiles who fled the regime of Fidel Castro and settled in South Florida during the 1950s and 1960s. But before Miami became Havana USA, a wave of leftist, working-class migrants from prerevolutionary Cuba crossed the Florida Straits and made Ybor City the center of the immigrant South and the global capital of the Cuban cigar industry.
Located on the eastern edge of Tampa, a port city along Florida’s Gulf Coast, Ybor was a multiracial, multiethnic neighborhood where radical thinkers and laborers found work and refuge against the shifting tides of international political turmoil during the early half of the twentieth century. In Ybor City: Crucible of the Latina South, Sarah McNamara tells the story of how immigrant women ensured and fought for community survival across generations and against the backdrop of a post-Confederate, Jim Crow–controlled southern order. Together these women organized strikes, marched against fascism, and criticized American foreign policy. While many maintained their dedication to progressive ideals for years to come, supporting Castro and raising funds for the revolution, many American-born Latinas shied away from leftist activism and embraced the Democratic Party amid the Red Scare and the wrecking ball of urban renewal.
This searing portrait of the political shifts that defined Ybor City highlights the underexplored role of women’s leadership within movements for social and economic justice as it illustrates how people, places, and politics become who and what they are.
Sarah McNamara is assistant professor of History at Texas A&M University and Core Faculty in the Latinx & Mexican American Studies Program. McNamara is a Tampa Native and her family is from Ybor City.