Ortiz, Paul 1964–
Ortiz, Paul 1964–
Born 1964; married Sheila Payne. Education: Attended Olympic Community College; Evergreen State College, B.A., 1990; Duke University, Ph.D., 2000.
Office—Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, University of Florida, 4103 Turlington Hall, P.O Box 115215, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail—[email protected]
Writer, educator. Duke University, Durham, NC, research coordinator of "Behind the Veil" documentary project, 1996-2001, visiting assistant professor of history and documentary studies, 2000-01; University of California, Santa Cruz, associate professor of community studies, 2001-08; University of Florida, Gainesville, director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, 2008—. Former producer of radio program "Pathways to Justice," KAOS Radio, Olympia, WA; former labor activist, United Farm Workers Union. Military service: U.S. Army, 1982-86, 82nd Airborne Division; became sergeant.
Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Book Prize, Florida Historical Society, 2006, for Emancipation Betrayed; Carey McWilliams Book Award.
Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.
Contributor to books, including The Human Cost of Food: Farmworkers' Lives, Labor, and Advocacy, edited by Charles D. Thompson, Jr., and Melinda F. Wiggins, University of Austin Press, 2002. Contributor to journals, including Radical History Review and Journal of American History.
In 2008, Paul Ortiz was appointed director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida in Gainesville. According to a statement posted on the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, University of Florida, Web site: "With more than 4,000 interviews and thousands of pages of transcripts, the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is the largest program of its kind in the South and one of the largest in the nation." Ortiz had been an associate professor of community studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, for seven years. He has also worked as a radio producer and as research coordinator of the "Behind the Veil" documentary project. According to a statement posted on the Behind the Veil Research Project Web site: "The large goal of the ‘Behind the Veil’ project is to investigate the realities of African American life as it was lived in the Jim Crow South." Part of this investigation involves recording the memoirs of people who lived through the period. While working as a radio producer and for "Behind the Veil," Ortiz recorded hundreds of interviews with farm workers, labor activists, and others. Chris Krumm, writing for Facing South, described Ortiz as "a fantastic progressive historian."
In his 2005 book Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920, Ortiz documents how white voters in Florida had long kept black voters from participating in elections. By using the law, voter fraud, and terror, they had kept blacks from exercising their right to vote. This changed in 1920 when there was a determined voter registration effort. Thousands of blacks registered to vote in that year's presidential election. Black leaders went beyond voter registration to confront such other issues as lynching and black poverty. Ortiz argues that their efforts continued with varying degrees of success until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. "Ortiz," Brian Huseby maintained in Works in Progress, "convincingly demonstrates that the struggle for black liberation began long before the 1950s…. Emancipation Betrayed is an excellent read of an important, but forgotten, piece of history." "Ortiz reveals the importance of indigenous people in developing a creative, self-confident, and determined activist base upon which the civil rights movement could build," according to Joyce A. Henson in the Journal of Southern History. "This," wrote Gilles Vandal in the Journal of Social History, "is quite a good book, lightly readable, lucidly written and amply endowed with imaginative insight." "Emancipation Betrayed is a successful work that highlights the struggle of black Floridians for civil rights," Kelly J. Baker wrote on HNet: Humanities and Social Sciences Online. "Ortiz's work is valuable for historians of the U.S. South, American historians more generally, and anyone with an interest in how social movements develop."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of American History, June, 2006, Eric Arnesen, review of Emancipation Betrayed: The Hidden History of Black Organizing and White Violence in Florida from Reconstruction to the Bloody Election of 1920.
Journal of Social History, winter, 2006, Gilles Vandal, review of Emancipation Betrayed, p. 541.
Journal of Southern History, August, 2006, Joyce A. Hanson, review of Emancipation Betrayed, p. 690.
Library Journal, March 5, 2005, Thomas J. Davis, review of Emancipation Betrayed, p. 98.
UC Santa Cruz Currents, April 10, 2006, "Paul Ortiz Awarded Prize for Book on Black Organizing in Florida."
Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University Web site,http://cds.aas.duke.edu/btv/ (June 5, 2008), "Behind the Veil" project overview.
Facing South,http://southernstudies.org/facingsouth/ (July 7, 2005), Chris Kromm, "Mark Your Calendar: Emancipation Betrayed."
H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online,http://www.h-net.org/ (September, 2006), Kelly J. Baker, review of Emancipation Betrayed.
Santa Cruz Independent Media Center,http://santacruz.indymedia.org/ (January 19, 2006), "Paul Ortiz on Emancipation Betrayed," online recording of talk by Ortiz.
University of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Community Studies, Web site,http://communitystudies.ucsc.edu/ (May 14, 2008).
University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Web site,http://www.clas.ufl.edu/ (February 11, 2008), "Paul Ortiz."
Works in Progress,http://www.olywip.org/ (November, 2005), Brian Huseby, review of Emancipation Betrayed.