By Charles B. Dew
In this strong memoir, Charles Dew, one among America’s most
revered historians of the South--and fairly its historical past of slavery--turns the point of interest on
his personal existence, which begun now not within the halls of enlightenment yet in a society unequivocally
dedicated to segregation.
Dew re-creates the midcentury American South of his
childhood--in many respects a boy’s paradise, yet one stained through misplaced reason revisionism
and, worse, through the whole brunt of Jim Crow. via entertainments and "educational"
books that belittled African american citizens, in addition to the residing examples of his family, Dew
used to be indoctrinated in a white supremacy that, at most sensible, used to be condescendingly paternalistic and, at
worst, brutally illiberal. the terror that southern tradition, and the "hallowed white male
brotherhood," might come undone during the slightest flexibility within the colour line gave
the Jim Crow frame of mind its incredibly unyielding caliber. Dew remembers his father, in such a lot regards
a good guy, changing into furious over a black tradesman bold to take advantage of front, and never the back,
The moment half the booklet indicates how this former accomplice early life and
descendant of Thomas Roderick Dew, one in every of slavery’s so much passionate apologists, went on to
reject his racist upbringing and develop into a student of the South and its deeply conflicted
background. the center piece of Dew’s tale is his sobering discovery of a cost round from
1860--an itemized record of people up on the market. considering this record turns into Dew’s
first step in an exploration of antebellum Richmond’s slave exchange that investigates the
terrible--but, to its white members, unremarkable--inhumanity inherent in the
Dew’s want with this publication is to teach how the South of his
early life got here into being, poisoning the minds even of honorable humans, and to reply to the
query placed to him by way of Illinois Browning Culver, the African American girl who committed decades
of her existence to serving his relations: "Charles, why do the grown-ups positioned quite a bit hate in the
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Additional resources for The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade
The Making of a Racist: A Southerner Reflects on Family, History, and the Slave Trade by Charles B. Dew