Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law Tanya Hernández is currently writing her third book, On Latino Anti-Black Bias: “Racial Innocence” & The Struggle for Equality.
“I didn’t plan it this way, but it feels like part three of a trilogy and seemed so inevitable,” she said about the book, which is two years in the making. “I like to look at things in a comparative and hemispheric manner because it’s very illuminating to think through issues regarding race in that way.”
In her first book, Racial Subordination in Latin America: The Role of State, Customary Law, and the New Civil Rights Response (Cambridge University Press), published in 2013, Hernández examined racial regulation laws from Latin American countries and compared them side by side. Her second book—Multiracials and Civil Rights (NYU Press), published in 2018—looked at series of court cases to demonstrate how multiracials often face the same types of discrimination as other racial groups.
On Latino Anti-Black Bias explores stories from Afro-Latinos and African Americans who have experienced Latino anti-Black bias. According to Hernández, the book will uncover instances of discrimination in the workplace, housing market, schools, places of recreation, and the criminal justice system that may never make the headlines, but have much to teach us about moving towards a more egalitarian society. Hernandez says her hope is to better highlight the problems and dynamics of inter-ethnic and intra-racial discrimination.
“I also wanted to see how useful law is and how useful it could be in the traditional anti-discrimination law sphere,” Hernández said. “What can we find out about Latinos as agents of discrimination, as opposed to just as victims of discrimination?”
As she’s been working on the book throughout the pandemic, Hernández has noted one part of the writing process that she misses most—workshopping.
“There’s just something so lovely about having a table of people, who have all read various chapters of the book or the entire book manuscript, chat about it together over a meal,” says Hernandez. “More conversation and other ideas come forth from that level of fellowship,” she explained.
On Latino Anti-Black Bias is expected to be published in the fall of 2021 by Beacon Press.