Book Discussion: Not “A Nation of Immigrants” by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
October 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Following Indigenous Peoples Day, join Massachusetts Peace Action in a reading group on the book Not ‘A Nation of Immigrants”- Settler Colonialism, White Supremacy, and A History of Erasure and Exclusion. By Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz- Beacon Press, Boston.
We will be reading and discussing the book in two parts over Zoom. Register once to attend both sessions.
Saturday, October 22- at 3-4:30 pm– Part One- Introduction, Chapter 1-4- Settler Colonialism and Continental Imperialism, with a framing speaker TBA
Saturday, November 19- 3-4:30 pm– Part 2- Chapters 5-8- Arrivants: Irish, Italian, Asian, Latinx- discussion in small groups and framing of issues.
We recommend you get the book from your local library or share with a friend. Paper back may be out in August 2022. To buy the book we recommend three stores : 1) Frugal Bookstore in Nubian Square,, 57 Warren Street, Roxbury, MA 02119; 2) Papercuts, 60 South Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 or 3)- Birchbark Books and Native Arts, 2115 21 Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405.
Sign up online with Massachusetts Peace Action. Please try to read the book before the discussion events and be prepared to discuss. If not the whole book, at least read the Introductory chapter.
For more information contact Craig Simpson email@example.com
About the book: Whether in political debates or discussions about immigration around the kitchen table, many Americans, regardless of party affiliation, will say proudly that we are a nation of immigrants. In this bold new book, historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz asserts this ideology is harmful and dishonest because it serves to mask and diminish the US’s history of settler colonialism, genocide, white supremacy, slavery, and structural inequality, all of which we still grapple with today.
She explains that the idea that we are living in a land of opportunity—founded and built by immigrants—was a convenient response by the ruling class and its brain trust to the 1960s demands for decolonialization, justice, reparations, and social equality. Moreover, Dunbar-Ortiz charges that this feel good—but inaccurate—story promotes a benign narrative of progress, obscuring that the country was founded in violence as a settler state, and imperialist since its inception.
While some of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, others are descendants of white settlers who arrived as colonizers to displace those who were here since time immemorial, and still others are descendants of those who were kidnapped and forced here against their will. This paradigm shifting new book from the highly acclaimed author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States charges that we need to stop believing and perpetuating this simplistic and a historical idea and embrace the real (and often horrific) history of the United States.