By Mark M. Smith
In case you decide up this little ebook, be ready to maintain turning the pages till you are accomplished. this can be the fourth certainly one of Smith's books that i have learn hide to hide. i have loved all of them [especially STONO], yet this one resonates and pertains to contemporary global. The production of racial stereotypes by means of white americans within the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has echoes within the racial profiling of suspected terrorists at the present time. the quantity of analysis that went into this ebook is superb, however it isn't really "weighty" or boring. Smith's writing is enticing and considerate. There might be little question that this effective younger student is THE emerging megastar [some might say he is already THE big name] of Southern historians.
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If you happen to decide up this little ebook, be ready to maintain turning the pages until eventually you are accomplished. this is often the fourth certainly one of Smith's books that i have learn disguise to hide. i have loved all of them [especially STONO], yet this one resonates and pertains to modern global. The production of racial stereotypes through white american citizens within the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has echoes within the racial profiling of suspected terrorists this present day.
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Extra info for How Race Is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses
In an article headlined ‘‘Stealing—and giving odors,’’ the Old Guard magazine of New York reported: ‘‘The wife of a Republican Senator in Washington does not sympathize with her husband’s admiration of negroes. S. Senate in 1851. ∞∫ the ‘‘crisis’’ of the 1850s Potentially the most serious challenge to the slaveholders’ society came less from northerners and slaves and more from their own behavior. The time had come when ‘‘miscegenation’’ threatened to undermine the racial basis of slavery. ’’ As sectional tensions became more acute, southern public opinion increasingly rejected these ‘‘legally white and socially black’’ people.
But there was not much that could be done to identify such slaves by sight alone. One had to listen, too. Slow speech, accent, dialect, stuttering—all functioned as aural markers of black slavery. Ω Slaves’ manipulation of the senses was also used to e√ect day-to-day resistance. Generally, slaves developed a ‘‘whispering habit . . ’’ One sense sometimes bowed to another. For example, as former slave George Womble explained, when slaves wanted meat, they could sometimes steal a pig and satisfy a particular taste.
They were constantly looking out for the ﬁrst signs of the dread retribution. ’’π Painfully aware of ‘‘the vigilant eyes of their masters’’ and of the various ways slaveholders used sound and listening to police their activities, slaves attempted to fool white senses in order to carve a degree of freedom from their bondage. As is well known, slaves used sound, especially music, to create spaces unavailable to whites, a way to preserve the soul and identity. They also smothered sound—prayed into upturned pots, learned how to walk silently, appreciated the importance of the whisper—to deny masters knowledge of slave religious and nocturnal gatherings.