By Mark M. Smith
Should you choose up this little booklet, be ready to maintain turning the pages till you are entire. this is often the fourth considered one of Smith's books that i have learn disguise to hide. i have loved all of them [especially STONO], yet this one resonates and pertains to contemporary global. The construction of racial stereotypes by means of white american citizens within the past due nineteenth and early twentieth centuries has echoes within the racial profiling of suspected terrorists this present day. the volume of analysis that went into this publication is outstanding, however it isn't "weighty" or uninteresting. Smith's writing is enticing and considerate. There might be no doubt that this advantageous younger student is THE emerging megastar [some may say he is already THE megastar] of Southern historians.
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Additional info for How Race Is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses
Millie Evans of Arkansas (born in 1849) revealed that slaves, as much as slaveholders, embraced cleanliness and its scent. ’’ Entry into the white household on a permanent basis meant immersion into the sensory world of whites. ’’ ‘‘Us et jess whut our white folks had,’’ recalled a former slave from Georgia. ’’∂ Slaveholders’ doubts notwithstanding, slaves could and did appreciate sensory delights in other than animalistic ways. ’’ Slaves also believed, with their masters, that visitors to the South carried with them conditioned senses.
At another level, such thinking—half baked as much of it was—held decidedly nonintellectual implications. All this talk of the senses and race, both in the 1850s and for years to come, lessened whites’ need to think about race: what it meant and whether or not it was, in fact, real. Instead, aspects of the Old South’s proslavery defense—a largely intellectual project—ended up encouraging an emotional, visceral, and febrile understanding of racial identity. It was an understanding immune to logic, impervious to thought, and, as such, a perfect foundation for segregation.
Ball’s body betrayed his meat consumption to ‘‘the scrutinizing look’’ of his overseer. The overseer paraded Ball before a group of slaveholders whose ‘‘examination of my person,’’ ‘‘a kind of leer or side glance,’’ convinced them that Ball appeared to ‘‘live well’’ and had in all likelihood managed to eat outlawed meat. Ball protested his innocence, claiming that he consumed just the ﬁsh and rations allowed by his master. ’’ Ball’s healthy look suggested wrongdoing to white eyes. Again, Ball protested his innocence.