Rednecks, revivalists and roadkill : the construction of whiteness in an Appalachian town



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This report examines the construction of whiteness in Appalachia through a close study of two New Year’s Eve celebrations in a small community in Brasstown, North Carolina. By examining these two celebrations, I draw out questions of race and racialization that have been largely overlooked in the study of Appalachia and illustrate the connections between the construction of a whitewashed Appalachian identity and the construction of an equally pale national identity. This report challenges the idea that Appalachia as a region is “racially innocent” and therefore does not play a role in discussions of race in America. On the contrary, I show that Appalachia’s position as a site of production of a national culture and identity means that in the context of Appalachia, race and racialization demand scrutiny as a means for understanding what “whiteness” is.