Cover

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pp. 1-3

Title Page

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pp. 4-4

Copyright Page

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pp. 5-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

I have benefitted from a wide and varied amount of support in writing this book. First and foremost I would like to thank my colleagues and students at East Tennessee State University (ETSU), with particular appreciation for the intellectual...

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Introduction: Race, Identity, and the Melungeon Legend

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pp. 1-32

I entered the outdoor pavilion to see hundreds of people talking, laughing, and walking around. Clusters of people surrounded Brent Kennedy, who was shaking hands and posing for pictures with his newfound kin. A child who appeared...

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Chapter 1: Inventing the Melungeons

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pp. 33-49

As many mixed-race individuals struggled to pass—and disappear—into white society, their mythical shadow surfaced in popular writing. The mythical Melungeon, or the image that emerged from the media, materialized in a time...

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Chapter 2: Melungeons and Media Representation

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pp. 51-68

While most unsolved mysteries hold a limited interest in the popular imagination, the Melungeon story forges on, releasing a slew of synonyms that evoke their alleged enigmatic nature. Writers depict Melungeons as unusual, rare, mystical, strange, exotic, colorful, puzzling,...

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Chapter 3: Playing the First Melungeons

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pp. 69-85

Melungeon legend transformed in a fundamental way in the mid-twentieth century. The change involved the staging of the outdoor drama about Melungeons, Walk Toward the Sunset, in Hancock County in the mid-1960s. With the...

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Chapter 4: Becoming Melungeon

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pp. 87-111

In the 1990s the Melungeon legend finally became fully peopled—in copious numbers and with a deafening urgency. A media heyday accompanied the new Melungeon scene, this time with a movement of real Melungeons behind it. The 1990s media reporting on...

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Chapter 5: The Mediterranean Mystique

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pp. 113-139

For many Melungeon descendants the 2002 DNA studies promised a definitiveness in identifying Melungeons as an ethnic group. A great deal of anticipation led up to Kevin Jones’s report at the Melungeon Union, and, for most attendees, the results...

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Chapter 6: The Melungeon Core

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pp. 141-177

To suggest that any individual grew up as a Melungeon is a misnomer since, historically, there has never been a selfidentified Melungeon community. Still there are individuals directly descended from, and who spent their lives in, communities historically...

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Closing Thoughts

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pp. 179-185

Larry was one of the first core Melungeons I met in Hancock County. He is the son of evangelical, sharecropping parents. He grew up working the land on Newman’s Ridge, alongside his brothers and sisters. Distressed from years of sun, his skin holds the patina...

Appendix 1: Melungeon Questionnaire

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pp. 187-189

Appendix 2: Media Articles

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pp. 191-207

Notes

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pp. 209-221

Works Cited

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pp. 211-217

Index

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pp. 219-222