The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture - Vol. 19

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture - Vol. 19

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture - Vol. 19

The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture - Vol. 19

Synopsis

"Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi."

Excerpt

Commentators on the American South often mention violence as a defining feature of the region, sometimes paired with a contrasting cultural trait, as in violence and religion, violence and manners, and violence and hospitality. the old saying was that a southerner would be polite to you up to the point of shooting you. Writer Willie Morris used to say you could not go wrong in talking about southern culture by using the word “juxtaposition,” and violence and its seeming opposites in the South are good examples. From the colonial era, travelers to the region claimed that its people had a special propensity for fighting, and violent images of the South continue to reverberate in modern popular culture. Violence was surely connected to forces that shaped the South—from the Indian wars, to frontier rough justice, to Civil War fighting, to lynching and urban race riots, to civil rights murders. Poverty, long-standing rural isolation, reliance on close-knit kinship groups, a culture of honor, and racial tensions all figured somehow into the mix that resulted in expressions of violence through southern history, at both the public and private levels. the overview essay explores the factors contributing to the South’s sometimes-violent climate and its relationship to violent national tendencies as well.

The contribution of the Violence volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture is a breadth of coverage of the topic, showing how violence has touched many areas of social, cultural, political, and economic life. Its 44 thematic articles and 58 topical entries expand the relatively modest coverage of violence in the Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, reflecting the productive research on violence since the earlier publication. As in the study of the South in general, issues of race relations figure prominently herein, from entries on slave patrols and slave revolts, to explorations of violence against Mexican Americans and American Indians, to examinations of lynching and black resistance. Authors open up specifically cultural aspects of violence in the South through analysis of honor and dueling, outlaw heroes, and representations of violence in song, literature, and film. Topical entries provide accessible information on symbolic sites of southern violence, including the Alamo, Angola Prison, the chain gang, the Trail of Tears, Rosewood, Fla., and Harlan County, Ky. Individuals who have been related to southern violence include such outlaw heroes as the James Gang and Bonnie and Clyde, lynching victim Leo Frank and lynching opponents Jessie Daniel Ames and Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Confed-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.