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Way Up North in LouisvilleAfrican American Migration in the Urban South, 1930-1970$
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Luther Adams

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834220

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899434_adams

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Way Up North in Louisville: Migration and the Meaning of the South

Way Up North in Louisville: Migration and the Meaning of the South

(p.37) 2 Way Up North in Louisville: Migration and the Meaning of the South
Way Up North in Louisville

Luther Adams

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines a song called “The L & N Blues” that was recorded by Clara Smith. It referred to the railway that ran between Nashville and Louisville, and on up into the North. The song directs our attention to the need to examine the way African Americans conceived of the South and their own southernness. The chapter considers how some of the more than 17,000 migrants who relocated to Louisville between 1930 and 1970 defined the South. “The L & N Blues” shows us that the South was a region that was not so much defined geographically as it was culturally or by its politics of oppression. Although the boundary between North and South was not geographical, it was no less real.

Keywords:   Clara Smith, railway, Nashville, Louisville, African Americans, South, southernness

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