When writers Terry Greene Sterling and Jude Joffe-Block were researching their new book, they uncovered some interesting history about Phoenix. For example, Sterling says the book details how the word “Phoenix” was post-Civil War code for “rebirth of the South” to the Confederate refugees who founded the town.
That tidbit is just the tip of the proverbial dust devils Sterling and Joffe-Block kick up in the book Driving While Brown: Sheriff Joe Arpaio versus the Latino Resistance (University of California Press). The book chronicles how Phoenix Latino activists challenged notorious former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose policies were largely viewed as discriminatory and deadly, and targeted at people of color. It also delves deep into the confederate roots of the city and the government’s immigration policies.
Sterling, an award-winning journalist who has contributed to PHOENIX magazine, and Joffe-Block, former field correspondent at KJZZ, will participate in a free virtual talk about Driving While Brown from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 11. The event, hosted by the Center for the Future of Arizona, will be moderated by Valeria Fernández, Nieman Visiting Fellow at Harvard University and co-director of the documentary Two Americans, about Arpaio and a 9-year-old girl trying to stop her parents’ deportations.
People interested in participating can register here.