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Not Just Down Yonder

Not Just Down Yonder

Chapter:
(p.145) Chapter 6 Not Just Down Yonder
Source:
Raised Up Down Yonder
Author(s):
Angela McMillan Howell
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617038815.003.0007

This chapter examines the collective identities of black youth in Hamilton, Alabama. It shows that young people consider themselves decidedly rural, albeit in new ways. It first explains the prominence of a rural, southern identity among Hamilton’s young people and how such identity is reinforced by popular culture. Using moral panics about the negative influence of popular culture, it then explores how young people interact with translocal influences. It also highlights young people’s use of popular culture to reaffirm rather than destroy the norms, values, and experiences that originate from the local environment. The chapter shows that, contrary to widespread stereotypes, many young Hamiltonians have traveled outside of Alabama more than once, and that these trips have highlighted their distinction from northerners in many ways such as clothing and accents.

Keywords:   black youth, Hamilton, Alabama, identity, popular culture, moral panics, stereotypes

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