Our Migrant Souls is a letter to anyone who identifies with latinidad living in the United States. With reassurance and validation, Tobar urges us to break away from constantly questioning our identities. Written with resentment, mourning, and love, he defines what it means to be Latino, a term that bears hardships, but calls us to reclaim it, without the constant narrative of our oppressors. I hold Héctor Tobar and this book very dearly and tenderly.— From Javi
A new book by the Pulitzer Prize–winning writer about the twenty-first-century Latino experience and identity.
"Latino" is the most open-ended and loosely defined of the major race categories in the United States. Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of "Latino" assembles the Pulitzer Prize winner Héctor Tobar's personal experiences as the son of Guatemalan immigrants and the stories told to him by his Latinx students to offer a spirited rebuke to racist ideas about Latino people. Our Migrant Souls decodes the meaning of "Latino" as a racial and ethnic identity in the modern United States, and seeks to give voice to the angst and anger of young Latino people who have seen latinidad transformed into hateful tropes about "illegals" and have faced insults, harassment, and division based on white insecurities and economic exploitation.
Investigating topics that include the US-Mexico border "wall," Frida Kahlo, urban segregation, gangs, queer Latino utopias, and the emergence of the cartel genre in TV and film, Tobar journeys across the country to expose something truer about the meaning of "Latino" in the twenty-first century.