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Florida is blessed with a semitropical climate, beautiful inland areas, and over a thousand miles of warm seas and sandy beaches. And Floridians are every bit as colorful and diverse as the tropical foliage. The interaction between Florida's people and its environment has created distinctive mixes of traditional life unlike those anywhere else in America.
Florida's cultural foundation includes Seminoles, Anglo-Celtic Crackers, African Americans, transplanted northerners, and ethnic communities, as well as cultural syntheses developed from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries in Key West, Tampa, St. Augustine, and Pensacola. In recent decades, the state's population has been strongly impacted by large-scale immigration from Cuba, South America, Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. South Florida leads other regions in the development of a contemporary cultural synthesis, but Orlando and Tampa are rapidly evolving. Even sleepy north Florida is experiencing a significant shift.
Although several books detail the traditions of specific Florida regions or folk groups, this is the first to provide an overview of Florida folklife. The Florida Folklife Reader brings together essays written by folklorists, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists on a wide array of topics. The authors examine topics as diverse as regional and ethnic folk groups, occupational folklife, the built environment, musical traditions, rituals, and celebrations.
Rethinking the Segregated South
Although the origins, application, and socio-historical implications of the Jim Crow system have been studied and debated for at least the last three-quarters of a century, nuanced understanding of this complex cultural construct is still evolving, according to Stephanie Cole and Natalie J. Ring, coeditors of The Folly of Jim Crow: Rethinking the Segregated South. Indeed, they suggest, scholars may profit from a careful examination of previous assumptions and conclusions along the lines suggested by the studies in this important new collection. Based on the March 2008 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures at the University of Texas at Arlington, this forty-third volume in the prestigious series undertakes a close review of both the history and the historiography of the Jim Crow South. The studies in this collection incorporate important perspectives that have developed during the past two decades among scholars interested in gender and politics, the culture of resistance, and "the hegemonic function of ‘whiteness.’" By asking fresh questions and critically examining long-held beliefs, the new studies contained in The Folly of Jim Crow will, ironically, reinforce at least one of the key observations made in C. Vann Woodward’s landmark 1955 study: In its idiosyncratic, contradictory, and multifaceted development and application, the career of Jim Crow was, indeed, strange. Further, as these studies demonstrate—and as alluded to in the title—it is folly to attempt to locate the genesis of the South’s institutional racial segregation in any single event, era, or policy. "Instead," as W. Fitzhugh Brundage notes in his introduction to the volume, "formal segregation evolved through an untidy process of experimentation and adaptation."
Black Women and the Pursuit of Liberty in Antebellum Charleston
Arguing that freedom was not a static legal status, but instead a contingent and fragile lived experience, Myers delves deeply into legal, family, church, and government records to weave a rich social history of antebellum Charleston's free black women. Looking both at those who were officially manumitted and at those who lived as free but lacked proper documentation, Myers considers how black women defined, attained, and defended their freedom. This multi-dimensional portrait explores the differences between official and true freedom and examines the efforts by black women to achieve financial and social independence for themselves, to acquire property (both land and slaves), to gain emancipation and autonomy for family members, to live where and with whom they wished, to choose who or whether to marry, and to gain an education and social mobility for themselves and their children.
The French Outpost at the Alabamas on the Coosa
Situated at the head of the Alabama River system—at the juncture of the Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers—Fort Toulouse in 1717 was planned to keep the local Indians neutral, if not loyal, to the French and contain the British in their southernmost Atlantic colonies. Unlike the usual frontier settlements, Fort Toulouse was both a diplomatic post, since its officers acted as resident ministers, and a military post. Because it was located in a friendly territory adjoining an area under a rival (British) influence, the post participated in psychological warfare rather than in blood-letting. It used trade and aid, and was familiar with spies and double-agents—welcoming and debriefing British defectors; no cannon was discharged in anger at Toulouse.
The most eminent figure to have been connected directly with Fort Toulouse was General Andrew Jackson, who established a military post there during the War of 1812 after his victory over the Indians at Horseshoe Bend. The outpost was named Fort Jackson in his honor and played a key role in the treaty negotiations and eventual settlement of the Indian land by Americans.
In addition to discussing geopolitical and military affairs and diplomatic relations with Indian chiefs, Thomas describes daily life at the post and the variety of interactions between residents and visitors. Waselkov's introduction places the original 1960 book within the context of the existing scholarship of that time and adds an extensive and enlightening review of the most recent archaeological and historical research to Thomas' pioneering work.
The European Invasion and the Transformation of the Mississippian World, 1540-1715
Ethridge traces the metamorphosis of the Native South from first contact in 1540 to the dawn of the eighteenth century, when indigenous people no longer lived in a purely Indian world but rather on the edge of an expanding European empire.
Using a framework that Ethridge calls the Mississippian shatter zone to explicate these tumultuous times, From Chicaza to Chickasaw examines the European invasion and the collapse of the precontact Mississippian world and the restructuring of discrete chiefdoms into coalescent Native societies in a colonial world. The story of one group--the Chickasaws--is closely followed through this period.
Georgia's Religious Heritage
Williams shows that colonial Georgia was a remarkably diverse place, populated by mainline colonial congregations that included Anglicans, Roman Catholics, German- and Spanish-speaking Jews, Salzburg Lutherans, and Scottish Presbyterians. It wasn't until much later that evangelicalism triumphed and Baptists became the overwhelmingly dominant denomination. Williams uses the stories of such important figures as Tomochichi, John Wesley, Jesse Mercer, Henry McNeal Turner, Lillian Smith, Martin Luther King Jr., and Clarence Jordan to portray larger historical narratives and denominational battles.
Race and religion were intertwined not only in such key movements as abolition and civil rights but also throughout Georgia's history. "In order to fully grasp the religious heritage of Georgia," Williams says, "we must return again and again to racial matters." Recently, Georgians have seen racial, ethnic, and religious diversity grow as Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Baha'i, and other communities have settled in the state. Williams explores how Georgians have dealt with contemporary issues of tolerance and how, at times, the state has taken center stage in our nation's culture wars.
Firmly rooting religious history in a social, cultural, and political context, Williams presents a representative and balanced account of Georgia's religious heritage. From Mounds to Megachurches sheds new light on what it means to be a Georgian by exploring an issue that remains central to life in the Sunbelt South.
Afro-American Slave Revolts in the Making of the Modern World
In perhaps his most provocative book Eugene Genovese examines the slave revolts of the New World and places them in the context of modern world history. By studying the conditions that favored these revolts and the history of slave guerrilla warfare throughout the western hemisphere, he connects the ideology of the revolts to that of the great revolutionary movements of the late eighteenth century. Genovese argues compellingly that the slave revolts of the New World shaped the democratic character of contemporary European struggles just as forcefully as European struggles influenced New World rebellion. The revolts, however, had a different purpose before as well as after the era of the French Revolution. Before, their goals were restoration of African-type village communities and local autonomy; after, they merged with larger national and international revolutionary movements and had profound effect on the shaping of modern world politics. Toussaint L’Ouverture’s brilliant leadership of the successful slave revolt in Saint-Dominique constitutes, for Genovese, a turning point in the history of slave revolts, and, indeed, in the history of the human spirit. By claiming for his enslaved brothers and sisters the same right to human dignity that the French bourgeoisie claimed for itself, Toussiant began the process by which slave uprisings changed from secessionist rebellions to revolutionary demands for liberty, equality, and justice. Those who have taken issue with Genovesse before will find little in From Rebellion to Revolution to change their minds. The book is sure to be widely read, hotly debated, and a major influence on the way future historians view slavery.
The Susan Smith Case and the Rise of a New Sexism
In the fall of 1994 Susan Smith, a young mother from Union, South Carolina, reported that an African American male carjacker had kidnapped her two children. The news sparked a multi-state investigation and evoked nationwide sympathy. Nine days later, she confessed to drowning the boys in a nearby lake, and that sympathy quickly turned to outrage. Smith became the topic of thousands of articles, news segments, and media broadcasts—overshadowing the coverage of midterm elections and the O. J. Simpson trial. The notoriety of her case was more than tabloid fare, however; her story tapped into a cultural debate about gender and politics at a crucial moment in American history. In Gendered Politics in the Modern South Keira V. Williams uses the Susan Smith case to analyze the “new sexism” found in the agenda of the budding neoconservatism movement of the 1990s. She notes that in the weeks after Smith’s confession, soon-to-be Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich made statements linking Smith’s behavior to the 1960s counterculture movement and to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” social welfare programs. At the same time, various magazines declared the “death of feminism” and a “crisis in masculinity” as the assault on liberal social causes gained momentum. In response to this perceived crisis, Williams argues, a distinct code of gender discrimination developed that sought to reassert a traditional form of white male power. In addition to consulting a wide variety of sources, including letters from Smith written since her incarceration, Williams contextualizes the infamous case within the history of gender politics over the last quarter of the twentieth century. She reveals how the rhetoric, imagery, and legal treatment of infanticidal mothers changed and asserts that the latest shift reflects the evolution of a neoconservative politics.
John Keats's biographers have rarely been fair to George Keats (1797--1841) -- pushing him to the background as the younger brother, painting him as a prodigal son, or labeling him as the "business brother." Some have even condemned him as a heartless villain who took more than his fair share of an inheritance and abandoned the ailing poet to pursue his own interests. In this authoritative biography, author Lawrence M. Crutcher demonstrates that George Keats deserves better. Crutcher traces his subject from Regency London to the American frontier, correcting the misconceptions surrounding the Keats brothers' relationship and revealing the details of George's remarkable life in Louisville, Kentucky.
Brilliantly illustrated with more than ninety color photographs, this engaging book reveals how George Keats embraced new business opportunities to become an important member of the developing urban community. In addition, George Keats of Kentucky offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into nineteenth-century life, commerce, and entrepreneurship in Louisville and the Bluegrass.