Citation

Blue, Gray, and Black: African American Civil War Reenactments as Performance of Black Southern Identity

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Get this Document | Similar Titles



Abstract:

This paper examines African American Civil War reenactments as sites for the performance of black southern identity. In a reversal of well-known migratory trends of the early- to mid-twentieth century, blacks are returning to the South in significant numbers as a means of connecting (or reconnecting) with historically significant African American places and institutions. As the terms "South" and "southerner" have generally been construed as a reference to the whites of the region and the memories, cultural values, and institutions they have helped shape, less attention has focused on the cultural work performed in the construction of black southern identity. This identity involves not only a recovery of cultural memories of slavery and the Civil War, but also a reclamation of a southern heritage that offers a much more mixed and complex link to the Confederacy. In this paper, I examine the ways in which identity, community, and regional affiliation and belonging are produced and reproduced through African American Civil War reenactments. Cultural performances such as Civil War reenactments, which began during the war's Centennial in the 1960s, work to educate the public about the war and to develop and cement kinship ties among the participants and within the communities in which they are performed. I argue that African American reenactments, which cover both sides in the war, not only engage these objectives, but also produce black southern identity in two important ways. First, by constructing countermemories privileging black agency in the region's (and nation's) most divisive and defining conflict, these commemorative rituals subvert traditional historical discourses positioning blacks as passive historical victims. This, in turn, situates blacks as historical actors within a culture in which history constitutes a significant component of regional identity. Secondly, by representing their southern identity through appropriation of a cultural practice more commonly associated with white southern (masculine) identity, these performances affirm African Americans' sense of place within the South.
Convention
Submission, Review, and Scheduling! All Academic Convention can help with all of your abstract management needs and many more. Contact us today for a quote!
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: The American Studies Association
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p174554_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Davis, Patricia. "Blue, Gray, and Black: African American Civil War Reenactments as Performance of Black Southern Identity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The American Studies Association, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA, Oct 11, 2007 <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p174554_index.html>

APA Citation:

Davis, P. G. , 2007-10-11 "Blue, Gray, and Black: African American Civil War Reenactments as Performance of Black Southern Identity" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The American Studies Association, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Philadelphia, PA <Not Available>. 2013-12-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p174554_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper examines African American Civil War reenactments as sites for the performance of black southern identity. In a reversal of well-known migratory trends of the early- to mid-twentieth century, blacks are returning to the South in significant numbers as a means of connecting (or reconnecting) with historically significant African American places and institutions. As the terms "South" and "southerner" have generally been construed as a reference to the whites of the region and the memories, cultural values, and institutions they have helped shape, less attention has focused on the cultural work performed in the construction of black southern identity. This identity involves not only a recovery of cultural memories of slavery and the Civil War, but also a reclamation of a southern heritage that offers a much more mixed and complex link to the Confederacy. In this paper, I examine the ways in which identity, community, and regional affiliation and belonging are produced and reproduced through African American Civil War reenactments. Cultural performances such as Civil War reenactments, which began during the war's Centennial in the 1960s, work to educate the public about the war and to develop and cement kinship ties among the participants and within the communities in which they are performed. I argue that African American reenactments, which cover both sides in the war, not only engage these objectives, but also produce black southern identity in two important ways. First, by constructing countermemories privileging black agency in the region's (and nation's) most divisive and defining conflict, these commemorative rituals subvert traditional historical discourses positioning blacks as passive historical victims. This, in turn, situates blacks as historical actors within a culture in which history constitutes a significant component of regional identity. Secondly, by representing their southern identity through appropriation of a cultural practice more commonly associated with white southern (masculine) identity, these performances affirm African Americans' sense of place within the South.

Get this Document:

Find this citation or document at one or all of these locations below. The links below may have the citation or the entire document for free or you may purchase access to the document. Clicking on these links will change the site you're on and empty your shopping cart.

Associated Document Available Access Fee All Academic Inc.


Similar Titles:
Now We are Men: African American Civil War Reenactment, Historical Agency, and the Performance of Masculinity

Visualizing the Blue, Gray, and Black: Illustrating African American Participation in the Civil War

"Black-on-Black" Policing: African-American Police and the Negotiation of Marginalized Identity in American Criminal Justice


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.