CLS Faculty Dr. Delia Fern√°ndez-Jones publishes new book on Latinos in Grand Rapids

January 12, 2023

Dr. Delia Fernández-Jones is Assistant Professor of History and a CLS Core Faculty member. Her book "Making the MexiRican City: Migration, Placemaking and Activism in Grand Rapids, Michigan" was published by the University of Illinois press which describes the book as:

"Large numbers of Latino migrants began to arrive in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the 1950s. They joined a small but established Spanish-speaking community of people from Texas, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Delia Fernández-Jones merges storytelling with historical analysis to recapture the placemaking practices that these Mexicans, Tejanos, and Puerto Ricans used to create a new home for themselves. Faced with entrenched white racism and hostility, Latinos of different backgrounds formed powerful relationships to better secure material needs like houses and jobs and to recreate community cultural practices. Their pan-Latino solidarity crossed ethnic and racial boundaries and shaped activist efforts that emphasized working within the system to advocate for social change. In time, this interethnic Latino alliance exploited cracks in both overt and structural racism and attracted white and Black partners to fight for equality in social welfare programs, policing, and education.Groundbreaking and revelatory, Making the MexiRican City details how disparate Latino communities came together to respond to social, racial, and economic challenges."


The book is available at