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Southern Farmers and Their StoriesMemory and Meaning in Oral History$
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Melissa Walker

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124094

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124094.001.0001

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Rural Southerners and the Community of Memory

Rural Southerners and the Community of Memory

(p.77) Chapter Two Rural Southerners and the Community of Memory
Southern Farmers and Their Stories


University Press of Kentucky

This chapter examines the experiences of rural people in the American South as they relate to the rural transformation and discusses their community of shared memory. It analyses the stories of African American sharecropper Susie Weathersbee and white landowner Arthur Little from North Carolina. The findings suggest that rural southerners believed that particular elements of their lives made them different from those who did not live on the land, and their sense of shared identity remained remarkably consistent across generational and geographic lines. The result also indicate that they linked productivity with virtue and cooperation and a commitment to self-sufficiency, mutual aid, and a strong work ethic were central characteristics of their community of memory.

Keywords:   rural people, American South, rural transformation, shared memory, shared identity, self-sufficiency, mutual aid, work ethic, Susie Weathersbee, Arthur Little

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