Kelly Lytle Hernández reframes our understanding of U.S. history in this talk drawn from her forthcoming book, a groundbreaking narrative of revolution in the borderlands.
Bad Mexicans tells the dramatic story of the magonistas, the migrant rebels who sparked the 1910 Mexican Revolution from the United States. Led by a brilliant but ill-tempered radical named Ricardo Flores Magón, the magonistas were a motley band of journalists, miners, migrant workers, and more, who organized thousands of Mexican workers―and American dissidents―to their cause. Determined to oust Mexico’s dictator, Porfirio Díaz, who encouraged the plunder of his country by U.S. imperialists such as Guggenheim and Rockefeller, the rebels had to outrun and outsmart the swarm of U.S. authorities vested in protecting the Diaz regime. The U.S. Departments of War, State, Treasury, and Justice as well as police, sheriffs, and spies, hunted the magonistas across the country. Capturing Ricardo Flores Magón was one of the FBI’s first cases.
About the Speaker
Kelly Lytle Hernández is a professor of History, African American Studies, and Urban Planning at UCLA where she holds The Thomas E. Lifka Endowed Chair in History and is the director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. One of the nation’s leading experts on race, immigration, and mass incarceration, Professor Lytle Hernández is the author of the award-winning books Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol (University of California Press, 2010) and City of Inmates: Conquest, Rebellion, and the Rise of Human Caging in Los Angeles (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). Currently, Professor Lytle Hernández is completing a new book on the magonista movement, which helped to spark the outbreak of the 1910 Mexican Revolution, and she is the Principal Investigator for Million Dollar Hoods, a university-based, community-driven research project that maps the fiscal and human cost of mass incarceration in Los Angeles. For her leadership of Million Dollar Hoods, Professor Lytle Hernández has won numerous awards, including the 2018 Local Hero Award from KCET/PBS, a 2018 Freedom Now! Award from the Los Angeles Community Action Network, and the 2019 Catalyst Award from the South L.A. parent/student advocacy organization, CADRE. For her historical and contemporary work, Professor Lytle Hernández has been named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow and a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians. She is also an elected member of the Society of American Historians and the Pulitzer Prize Board.
About the Series
How can distinctive, original scholarship encourage the pursuit of justice in society or the academy? In this series titled How Change Comes: Knowledge + Justice, scholars who have made indelible statements in both areas discuss the conditions of their work and how their political and intellectual investments inform each other.
"An American Story" (The New York Review)