University of Texas history professor Monica Muñoz Martinez has won a 2021 MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant for illuminating long-obscured cases of racial violence along the U.S.-Mexico border in ways that resonate today.
- The award comes with $625,000 — no strings attached — and a ton of prestige.
Her book, "The Injustice Never Leaves You," covers a period of anti-Mexican violence in the early 20th century throughout the Texas borderlands.
Why it matters: The past is never far behind, as Texans continue to war over how to represent the state's history.
- "This was a period of state-sanctioned racial terror that included acts of lynchings, massacres, racially motivated homicides and police violence and police murder," Martinez said about the period in her book in a video posted on the MacArthur Foundation website. "In some cases, these histories have been hidden, but at worst, these histories have been celebrated."
- "We are asking people to unlearn so much of what they’ve been presented with in public school textbooks and popular culture, so it’s a long and ongoing task to teach people a more accurate history of Texas, but also of the United States more broadly," she said.
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