Sustaining Identity, Recapturing Heritage examines the complex web of public history, race, cultural identity, and tourism in Luray, Virginia, a rural Southern town. The 'texts' associated with this town's public history_tourist brochures, promotional narratives, historic homes, memorials, and monuments_are devoted to the founding eighteenth-century families and Confederate soldiers in Luray's past, but they also marginalize the history and heritage of African Americans and American Indians, and nearly obliterate the history of women in this region. Thus, the public history does not reflect the actual history of this town. A close look at one town helps to debunk the ideas and ideologies of the existence of a monolithic 'South', since the term could mean Mississippi, North Carolina, or somewhere-in-between. Luray and the Shenandoah Valley, with their distinctive geographical, economical, architectural, and cultural history can boast of its own discrete 'southern' identity. The book reveals how African-American texts and history reveal contributions to the town of Luray and the Shenandoah Valley region. The book studies the 'Ol' Slave Auction Block', a controversial public history site that subverts the white, hegemonic heritage of the town. Sustaining Identity, Recapturing Heritage is groundbreaking in its study of African-American tourism.
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Ann Elizabeth Denkler is assistant professor of history at Shenandoah University.
Table of Contents
1 Creating the Past in Luray 11
2 “… But Slavery Cured Us of That Weakness”: The Search for the “Private” Public History of African Americans in Luray 35
3 Subverting Heritage and Memory: Luray's “Ol' Slave Auction Block 57
4 Tourism and Battles for Cultural Identity 79
5 Recapturing Identity: The “Life on the Mountain” Exhibition at Shenandoah National Park 99
Epilogue—Interpreting for the Future 113
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