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Becoming Melungeon : making an ethnic identity in the Appalachian South / Melissa Schrift.

By: Schrift, Melissa, 1968-.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, ©2013Description: 1 online resource.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780803271616; 0803271611.Subject(s): Melungeons -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Ethnic identity | Melungeons -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- History | Melungeons -- Appalachian Region, Southern -- Social conditionsAdditional physical formats: Print version:: No titleDDC classification: 305.8/05074 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
E184.M44 S37 2013 (Browse shelf) Available ocn837185550

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Anthropologist Schrift (East Tennessee State Univ.) explores the birth of an Appalachian ethnic group. In the popular imagination, Melungeons were considered a "tri-racial isolate," interrelated families descended from African, Native American, and European ancestors who share phenotypical features. Historically, many considered to be Melungeon denied it due to the racial associations that deprived them of justice, equal protection, and access to resources. Theories of exotic origins--Portuguese, Turkish, remnants of the Lost Colony, etc.--were promoted in N. Brent Kennedy's 1994 book The Melungeons: The Resurrection of a Proud People, promoting Turkish origins, sparked new interest in Melungeons and identifying as Melungeon. The Melungeon Historical Association, their annual "Unions" of newly self-identifying Melungeons, publications, and websites were begun. Using archival research, interviews, and a questionnaire, Schrift examines the multifaceted emergence of a new ethnicity and ethnic pride movement. Documentation and analysis are excellent, but there are problems: referring to the 1890s as the "heyday of racial integration"; Appalachians stereotyped as "largely Scots-Irish"; the omission of important sources in the creation of the Melungeon myth (Jean Patterson Bible, Melungeons Yesterday and Today, 1975; Bonnie Ball, The Melungeons, 1992); and failure to adequately proofread (C. S. Everett 1999 was responding to discussion in Appalachian Journal, not Appalachian Quarterly). Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. F. J. Hay Appalachian State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Melissa Schrift is an associate professor of anthropology at East Tennessee State University. She is the author of Biography of a Chairman Mao Badge: The Creation and Mass Consumption of a Personality Cult .

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