Dear readers, the New Yorker has just published a fascinating essay about the Afghanistan immigrant, Zarif Khan, who arrived in Wyoming at the turn of the twentieth century. His life crossed national and cultural boundaries as he made his home in North America. Khan went one to become famous for selling tamales across the region and not only gained the nickname “Hot Tamale Louie,” but also U.S. citizenship (twice). The feature, by Kathryn Schulz, explores historical issues tied to race and ethnic identity, and also how these characteristics are interpreted by local and foreign groups. Likewise, the impact of food culture and how it is viewed by communities is an important part of this story.
For more on Khan’s life, read the full article, here.
Reblogged this on North American Borderlands and commented:
Hist 480/580 begins tomorrow (June 1)! Here’s a link to an intriguing story in the New Yorker that can help us conceptualize borderlands more deeply. Also, check out the Borderlands History blog–great stuff from scholars of border dynamics.
What a fascinating piece and example of cultural hybridity and fusion within the North American borderlands. Thanks for sharing Mike!