Friday, June 5, 2009

race and history: weirder than you think

In some times and places, "white" just meant "American." From The great Arizona orphan abduction by Linda Gordon:
James Young, a black man at the Contention mine in nearby Tombstone, remarked "Si White and I were the first white men in Tombstone after Gird and Schieffelin."

1 comment:

  1. I've always been fascinated by the challenges facing people of color as they move up the social classes and have to keep asking, "What comes from race? What comes from class? What's simply what I like?" Identity is just tricky.

    I forget where I first saw someone point out that a lot of the things considered "black" in the US, like soul food, are simply things that poor southerners, black and white, are fond of. But in northern cities, they're seen as a racial marker, not a class one.

    Uh, apologies if I'm being too much the class guy here. Ultimately, culture's what the people who say it's their culture say it is.