The Border and the Valley as Home
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This chapter introduces the voices of leaders from the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas. While Valley leaders’ demographics and beliefs are diverse, taken together their Valley stories act as a strategic political and rhetorical project to remake the borderlands as central to the United States’ ideals and its possible futures. The leaders are engaged in an effort to deborder the borderlands region. The arc of the leaders’ Valley stories is a strategic intervention to demystify the borderlands by claiming them as the American embodiment of home. Their stories are set within a history of the Rio Grande Valley, illustrating shifting social, political, and racial/ethnic orders since the 1800s. The Valley leaders’ fundamental yet radical idea is that the U.S.–Mexico borderlands are more, not less, American, than the interior of the United States, precisely because of the influence from Mexico.
KeywordsHome U.S.–Mexico border Deborder
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