Binghamton University geographers edit new book focusing on race, ethnicity in America

Binghamton University geographers Eugene Tettey-Fio and John Frazier don't have to look far for examples of how race and ethnicity are changing the face of America. And they didn't struggle to find contributors for their latest book, either. It grew directly out of a successful conference they put together two years ago.

Race, Ethnicity, and Place in a Changing America, published by the Binghamton University Global Academic Publishing, draws on the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference held at Howard University. But it's not merely the proceedings of the convention; the writers recast their papers in language suitable for undergraduates.

The timely volume includes essays on topics ranging from health and health care to anti-predatory lending legislation and pieces focusing on places such as Buffalo, the Texas Panhandle and Washington, D.C.

The book explores major themes in geography, including how humans interact with their environment and help shape it as well as migrations and how they affect people's origins and destinations.

According to Frazier and Tettey-Fio, places changed by new communities include Allentown and Pennsylvania Dutch country, which have become increasingly Latino, for instance, while Bosnians are reshaping Utica and Southeast Asians have transformed Flushing.

"Groups want to preserve their ethnicity," Frazier said. So you'll see Spanish signs in Allentown and different restaurants and churches than you might have found before. "The landscape informs you of who's there and how they're transforming it."

Tettey-Fio and Frazier are also interested in how organizations such as refugee resettlement offices and political institutions such as the Federal Housing Authority contribute to the transformation of these places. And it's not something new. The United States has a long history of immigration and of bringing in cheap labor, which can and does influence policy.

Frazier, a professor, and Tettey-Fio, an associate professor, both contributed pieces in addition to editing the book. Binghamton University colleagues Florence Margai and Mark Reisinger also wrote for the volume.

Frazier and Tettey-Fio expect to use the new book in a course each teaches: Geography 103: Multicultural Geographies of the United States.

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