Becoming Melungeon: Making an Ethnic Identity in the by Melissa Schrift

By Melissa Schrift

Appalachian legend describes a mysterious, multiethnic inhabitants of unique, dark-skinned rogues known as Melungeons who rejected the surface global and lived within the distant, rugged mountains within the farthest nook of northeast Tennessee. The allegedly unknown origins of those Melungeons are a part of what drove this legend and generated myriad unique foundation theories. although not anyone self-identified as Melungeon prior to the Nineteen Sixties, by way of the Nineties “Melungeonness” had develop into a full-fledged cultural phenomenon, leading to a zealous on-line group and annual conferences the place self-identified Melungeons amassed to debate shared family tree and heritage. even supposing this day Melungeons are in general pointed out because the descendants of underclass whites, freed African american citizens, and local americans, this ethnic identification continues to be mostly a social building in accordance with neighborhood culture, fantasy, and media.

In Becoming Melungeon, Melissa Schrift examines the ways that the Melungeon ethnic id has been socially developed over the years through a variety of neighborhood and nationwide media, performs, and other kinds of pop culture. Schrift explores how the social development of this legend developed right into a fervent move of a self-identified ethnicity within the Nineteen Nineties. This illuminating and insightful paintings examines the moving social structures of race, ethnicity, and id either within the neighborhood context of the Melungeons and extra widely in an try and comprehend the formation of ethnic teams and id within the sleek world.

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