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Charleston In Black and WhiteRace and Power in the South after the Civil Rights Movement$
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Steve Estes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622323

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622323.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

Too Proud to Whitewash

Too Proud to Whitewash

Chapter:
(p.1) Too Proud to Whitewash
Source:
Charleston In Black and White
Author(s):

Steve Estes

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622323.003.0001

This introductory chapter describes the city of Charleston as a site of many of the contradictions that drive the story of the modern South. Once, Charleston was a booming, cosmopolitan metropolis, though its power, wealth, and centrality in American life had faded completely by the early twentieth century. Fallen aristocrats clung to their historic but dilapidated mansions where it was said they were “too poor to paint, but too proud to whitewash.” By then, Charleston had become at best a quaint but sad vision of a paradise lost and at worst a tragic lesson of the ways slavery and racism had nearly destroyed the country. And despite all of the advances and opportunities that have come in the years since the civil rights movement, Charlestonians are too proud to whitewash the ways that the past continues to define as the city's present and future.

Keywords:   Charleston, modern South, slavery, racism, civil rights movement

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