Beyond the Sunset: The Melungeon Outdoor Drama, 1969-1976

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2020-01-12 02:01Z by Steven

Beyond the Sunset: The Melungeon Outdoor Drama, 1969-1976

Mercer University Press
2019-12-02
420 pages
6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9780881467185

Wayne Winkler, Director WETS-FM
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

In 1969, Hancock County, Tennessee was the eighth poorest county in the United States. Isolated by rugged mountains and far from population centers or major highways, the county had few natural resources, couldn’t attract industry, and had lost half its population in just a few decades. Hoping to develop a tourist industry, county leaders decided to stage an outdoor drama about the Melungeons, a mysterious, racially-mixed people that had attracted newspaper and magazine writers to Hancock County for more than a century. To stage the drama, the organizers had to overcome long-standing local prejudice against the dark-skinned Melungeons, the reluctance of the Melungeons to call attention to themselves, the physical isolation of the county, and their own lack of experience in any aspect of this project. In Beyond the Sunset, Wayne Winkler uses contemporary press reports, long-forgotten documents, and interviews with participants to chronicle the struggles of an impoverished rural Appalachian county to maintain its viability in the modern world–and the unexpected consequences of that effort. For those interested in Appalachian history in general and in Melungeon heritage specifically, this is a book that is an essential addition to your reading list.

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Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2020-01-10 01:26Z by Steven

Walking Toward the Sunset: The Melungeons of Appalachia

Mercer University Press
2005-04-08
314 pages
6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9780865548695

Wayne Winkler, Director WETS-FM
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

Walking toward the Sunset is a historical examination of the Melungeons, a mixed-race group predominantly in southern Appalachia. Author Wayne Winkler reviews theories about the Melungeons, compares the Melungeons with other mixed-race groups, and incorporates the latest scientific research to present a comprehensive portrait. In his telling portrait, Winkler examines the history of the Melungeons and the ongoing controversy surrounding their mysterious origins. Employing historical records, news reports over almost two centuries, and personal interviews, Winkler tells the fascinating story of a people who did not fit the rigid racial categories of American society. Along the way, Winkler recounts the legal and social restrictions suffered by Melungeons and other mixed-race groups, particularly Virginia’s 1924 Racial Integrity Act, and he reviews the negative effects of nineteenth- and twentieth-century magazine and journal articles on these reclusive people. Walking toward the Sunset documents the changes in public and private attitudes toward the Melungeons, the current debates over “Melungeon” identity, and the recent genetic studies that have attempted to shed light on the subject. But most importantly, Winkler relates the lives of families who were outsiders in their own communities, who were shunned and shamed, but who created a better life for their children, descendants who are now reclaiming the heritage that was hidden from them for generations.

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Washed in the Blood

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Novels, United States on 2011-12-07 22:00Z by Steven

Washed in the Blood

Mercer University Press
October 2011
420 pages
Hardback ISBN: 9780881462579

Lisa Alther

This unique three-part novel assumes that, regardless of what Americans learn in school, the Southeast was not a barren wilderness when the English arrived at Jamestown. It was full of Native Americans, other Europeans, and Africans who were there for various reasons. Based on extensive research into the racial mixing that occurred in the early years of southeastern settlement, this provocative multi-generational story shows that these people did not simply vanish, but that many were absorbed into the new communities that gradually formed throughout the southeast, becoming “white” whenever their complexions allowed. The inability to accept their true heritages illustrates the high price many of these people paid for their way of life. Diego Martin arrives in 1567 in the American Southeast—the region the Spaniards call La Florida—as a hog drover with a Spanish exploring party. The leader of the expedition turns against him and abandons him to the wilderness, where friendly natives rescue him. Daniel Hunter, a Quaker from Philadelphia, sets up a school among these “disadvantaged” mountain people and falls in love with a Martin daughter. Later, Daniel’s descendants are living in the same town, though with little awareness of their ancestral past. The Martin family has split in two, the merchants in town denying any relationship to their racially mixed cousins on Mulatto Bald. A young woman from town, Galicia, falls in love with a young man from the bald, Will, not realizing that he is her cousin. They marry, have a daughter, and move to a new industrial center, becoming prominent citizens. When Will’s son from a teenage liaison appears at his door, he invites him in, unwittingly setting the stage for a forbidden love between his unacknowledged son and his cherished daughter, neither of whom realizes that they are half-siblings. This is a novel you will not be able to put down without wondering “Where will it take me next?”

Table of Contents

  • Part I – The Swine King: A. D. 1567
    • 1-The San Jorge
    • 2 – Landfall
    • 3 – Santo Domingo
    • 4 – Santa Elena
    • 5 – Orista
    • 6 – Cofitachequi
    • 7 – Joara
    • 8 – Cauchi
    • 9 – Land of the Lost
    • 10 – The Cave
  • Part II – The Squabble State
    • 1 – The Five-Chicken Baby: 1818
    • 2 – Couchtown: August 1837
    • 3 – The Shenandoah: October 1837
    • 4 – Mulatto Bald: October 1837
    • 5 – Baptism by Fire: November 1837
    • 6 – The Frost Moon: December 1837
    • 7 – Seedbeds: April 1838
    • 8 – Soldiers’Joy: June 1838
    • 9 – The Wilderness Road: July 1838
    • 10 – Squatters: October 1838
  • Part III – Passing Fancy
    • 1 – The Ringer: August 1909
    • 2 – Leesville: October 1909
    • 3 – Palestine: February 1911
    • 4 – Hijacked Happiness: March 1911
    • 5 – Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: April 1911
    • 6 – Homecoming: December 1911
    • 7 – Mongrels: August 1913
    • 8 – A Roll of the Dice: November 1913
    • 9 – The Perils of Pauline: March 1914
    • 10 – Holston: May 1914
    • 11 – Half-Breeds: 1920
    • 12 – Home to Roost: 1927
    • 13 – Mountain Meadows: 1930
    • 14 – The Plantation Ball: 1930
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North from the Mountains: A Folk History of the Carmel Melungeon Settlement, Highland County, Ohio

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2011-04-17 00:40Z by Steven

North from the Mountains: A Folk History of the Carmel Melungeon Settlement, Highland County, Ohio

Mercer University Press
2001
220 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9780865547032

John S. Kessler

Donald B. Ball

The newest book in Mercer University Press’ new series The Melungeons: History, Culture, Ethnicity, and Literature is North from the Mountains: A Folk History of the Carmel Melungeon Settlement, Highland County, Ohio by John S. Kessler and Donald B. Ball. It is the first substantive study of the Carmel Melungeon settlement since 1950. Tracing their history from about 1700, this book contains extensive firsthand information to be found in no other source, and relates the Carmel population to the Melungeons and similar mixed-blood populations originating in the Mid-Atlantic coastal region. This study combines a review of documentary evidence, extensive firsthand observations of the group, and information gleaned from area informants and a visit to the Carmel area. The senior author, until about age eighteen, was a resident of a community nearby, hence the personal insight and perspective into the lifestyle and inter- and intrarelationships of the group.

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My Bones Are Red: A Spiritual Journey With A Triracial People In The Americas

Posted in Anthropology, Books, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Monographs, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2010-02-19 22:36Z by Steven

My Bones Are Red: A Spiritual Journey With A Triracial People In The Americas

Mercer University Press
2005
192 pages
8.9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
ISBN-10: 0865549176; ISBN-13: 978-0865549173

Patricia Ann Waak

In the late 1700s the roots of cowboy culture arose out of the Carolinas. These men and women were not the typical white ranchers that would be depicted in later stories and films. Instead they were a group of “tri-racial isolates.” While much is now being published about Melungeons, little has been written about the cowboy Redbones. The Redbones followed Reverend Joseph Willis to Louisiana in the early 1800s. He was the patriarch of the group and con-tributed his Baptist ministry to the spiritual composite that would make up their religious heritage.

My Bones Are Red primarily tells the stories of the Perkins family. They would stay in Louisiana for at least four decades before crossing the border into Texas. For the first time this book tracks family members who would be sequentially classified by the U.S. census as black, “free people of color,” mulatto, Indian, and white over a period of one hundred years. Historical evidence suggests the Perkins family and the families they married into were a combination of Native American, African, and British.

What started out as a quest to find the mother of her beloved grandfather, became for Patricia Waak a revelation about the diversity of her family. It became, in fact, a spiritual journey as she visited cemeteries, courthouses, and archives from Accomack County, Virginia, to Goliad, Texas. Filled with translations of old court cases, accounts from oral history, and the results of countless hours of research, she also invites us to participate in her own discovery through original poetry which introduces each chapter. Included are photographs, genealogical charts, maps, and copies of old documents.

The journey to discover the story of one line of her family, becomes for the author a farewell to her mother and an honoring of the people who contributed to who she is today. Patricia Waak’s career in the United States and overseas has dealt with population dynamics and their effect on human and environmental health. Most recently she has been the director of human population and environment programs and a senior advisor for the National Audubon Society. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Planet Awakening. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two dogs.

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Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America

Posted in Books, History, Law, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2009-10-07 18:50Z by Steven

Children of Perdition: Melungeons and the Struggle of Mixed America

Mercer University Press
2006
192 pages
ISBN (paperback): 9780881460742
ISBN (hardback): 9780881460131

Tim Hashaw

Some oppressed groups fought with guns, some fought in court, some exercised civil disobedience; the Melungeons, however, fought by telling folktales. Whites and blacks gave the name “children of perdition” to mixed Americans during the 300 years that marriage between whites and nonwhites was outlawed. Mixed communities ranked socially below communities of freed slaves although they had lighter skin. To escape persecution caused by the stigma of having African blood, these groups invented fantastic stories of their origins, known generally as “lost colony” legends. From the founding of America, through the American Revolution, the Civil War and World War II, the author documents the histories of several related mixed communities that began in Virginia in 1619 and still exist today, and shows how they responded to racism over four centuries. Conflicts led to imprisonment, whippings, slavery, lynching, gun battles, forced sterilization, and exile—but they survived.  America’s view of mixing became increasingly intolerant and led to a twentieth-century scheme to forcibly exile U.S. citizens, with as little as “one drop” of black blood, to Africa even though their ancestors arrived before the Mayflower. Evidence documents the collaboration between American race purists and leading Nazi Germans who perpetrated the Holocaust. The author examines theories of ethnic purity and ethnic superiority, and reveals how mixed people responded to “pure race” myths with origin myths of their own as Nazi sympa-thizers in state and federal government segregated mixed Americans, citing the myth of Aryan supremacy. Finally, Children of Perdition explains why many Americans view mixing as unnatural and shows how mixed people continue to confront the Jim Crow “one drop” standard today.

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