By Marissa Wells
“Black and Brown Unity: An Illustrated History for Beginners,” by Ron Wilkins, summarizes major historical intersections where blacks and Mexicans assisted and/or defended each other.
This is Wilkin’s first book and it is organized chronologically, beginning with the collaboration between the Olmec civilization and Egyptian soldiers and mariners (800 BC) and continuing to the present. The book is written in both English and Spanish.
Wilkins’ passion for history and his desire to share some of the hidden gems he has learned along his journey inspired him to write this book.
“No investigator has addressed the history of the mutually beneficial relationship between African and Mexican people and used it as a well-crafted practical approach to developing and sustaining solidarity between the two groups inside the contemporary United States,” Wilkins said. “With few exceptions, existing material on the histories of each group minimizes or ignores altogether united efforts against oppression and domination. The purpose of my book is to fill this gap.”
Wilkins wrote his book with young readers in mind and the intended audience of his book are black and brown students between kindergarten and high school.
“If you’re going to start getting the truth out there and making people aware, you should start with the children,” he added.
His goal is for his book is to inspire unity among both groups.
“I hope that black and Mexican and public-at-large readers of my book will take pride in discovering that there has been a long-standing, extensive and mutually supportive relationship between black and brown people,” Wilkins said. “That when members of either the Black or Brown group view members of the opposite group with indifference, suspicion or hostility that they are behaving contrary to the examples established by our ancestors!”
Wilkins, a retired African American history professor, has taught cross-cultural courses at Antioch University, Cal State Dominguez Hills and West Los Angeles College. He lives in Los Angeles.
“Black and Brown Unity: An Illustrated History for Beginners / La Unidad Negra Y Marron: Una Historia Illustrada para Principiantes” is available for $20. To purchase the book please contact the author via email firstname.lastname@example.org.