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Old 06-10-2012, 08:54 PM
NCN
 
Location: NC/SC Border Patrol
21,137 posts, read 20,970,736 times
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KnoxVolunteer23, I was just about to say that first they would have to find a black person in that area. Evidently you lived in a much different place than I did. I had never met a black person to know their name when I graduated high school. I once almost embarrassed my mother to death when I was a toddler and saw a black child in a service station in Eastern Tennessee or Virginia. We were on our way to see my grandmother in Virginia. I went over to the child and rubbed his hair. I had never seen hair like that before. My mother got me out of the store in record time.

My parents were just about like you described. My mother thought it was terrible that the black children had to go to a different school from the whites. I know that because she once made a statement about how ridiculous it was when we saw a very small bus carrying black children in Ashe County, North Carolina. Ashe had about 5% black children too and the black children had to be bused for miles if they went to school.

The high school I went to had one child that was racially mixed. She was not in my class though, so I never had any interaction with her. I always felt sorry for her because she was the only even partially black person in the school. I only knew of one other black person living in our school district. He lived right beside N. C. Highway 16 about 3 miles or less below the Blue Ridge Parkway. He moved to the mountains to be away from so many people, or this is what he told my dad who would sometimes go to check on him to make sure nobody was bothering him.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:14 PM
 
37 posts, read 28,710 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCN View Post
KnoxVolunteer23, I was just about to say that first they would have to find a black person in that area. Evidently you lived in a much different place than I did. I had never met a black person to know their name when I graduated high school. I once almost embarrassed my mother to death when I was a toddler and saw a black child in a service station in Eastern Tennessee or Virginia. We were on our way to see my grandmother in Virginia. I went over to the child and rubbed his hair. I had never seen hair like that before. My mother got me out of the store in record time.

My parents were just about like you described. My mother thought it was terrible that the black children had to go to a different school from the whites. I know that because she once made a statement about how ridiculous it was when we saw a very small bus carrying black children in Ashe County, North Carolina. Ashe had about 5% black children too and the black children had to be bused for miles if they went to school.

The high school I went to had one child that was racially mixed. She was not in my class though, so I never had any interaction with her. I always felt sorry for her because she was the only even partially black person in the school. I only knew of one other black person living in our school district. He lived right beside N. C. Highway 16 about 3 miles or less below the Blue Ridge Parkway. He moved to the mountains to be away from so many people, or this is what he told my dad who would sometimes go to check on him to make sure nobody was bothering him.
My families all from Knoxville going back 400+ years and the surrounding small towns. Theres more black folks there than probably anywhere else in Appalachia, but it's still only about 15-20%.

Just an example as to the integration there, the Austin Projects in Knoxville in 1946 were 85% white, 15% black, integrated and pretty much mirrored the demographics of the city as a whole at the time. East TN and most of Appalachia never gave a damn about the laws of the land, and that's one of the reasons black an white folks there talk so much alike cause they have always talked to each other. They were of course black and white enemies there, but there were lots of black and white friends and neighbors even back than.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:43 PM
 
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I have to respectfully disagree with Knoxvolunteer. There is a difference in accents - at least in Knoxville proper. For my work I often speak with people on the phone before I meet them and usually can spot an AA accent. It may be more subtle than in the deep south but it is there.

Knoxvol - can you explain why Knoxville has some very segregated areas these days - Five Points, etc. Why the white flight from Park city & Burlington in the '70s. I wish we were this integrated idyll you portray but I'm not seeing it. At least not in the old neighborhoods with the exception of Parkridge, Lonsdale & Holston Hills.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:41 PM
 
Location: 30-40N 90-100W
13,856 posts, read 22,103,432 times
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East Tennessee, and other parts of the Upland, were pro-Union but I'm not sure they were that integrated and abolitionist. From what I recall reading some of them were basically indifferent to slavery, not precisely opposed, or disliked both slave-owners and abolitionists. One of the first abolitionist newspapers was in East Tennessee, and the area had a high number of "free blacks", but slavery wasn't entirely unknown in the area.

Black History Month
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:04 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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^ It would follow that they'd be largely indifferent to slavery. They were not wealthy slave-owners, but poor whites who either 'worked for the man', or toiled on their own small plot, who were probably also looked down upon by the whites from the Lower South as well.
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:50 AM
 
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South Knoxville and Bristol were abolitionist hotbeds before even Philly was and was pretty much a no go zone for the KKK. You go there in a white robe trying to recruit and you get threatened, beat up or even killed.

Also many whites that relocated there later (a couple decades pre civil war) did so simply because they hated slavery. Many folks from GA, and AL, and MS packed up everything they owned and left there families over beefs over family members having slaves. Some of these folks even stole slaves from slaveowners/family members and took them with them to East TN to be free. So I would not describe the area as being largely indifferent. Sure most people probably didn't care either way but for every pro slavery person there, there were 100 folks that hated slavery. Being pro-slavery in that area during that time was not popular and in some neighborhood and towns even dangerous. Being pro-segregation during the jim crow days was also not popular and looked down upon, but to a lesser extent. Segregation was largely never enforced here, most hillbillies are mixed with Cherokee to start with anyway and really did come here for religious and social freedom, not to make money.

The Appalachian region to this day has always been very independent from the rest of the country both south and north as a whole and has almost always had opinions that were opposite of what was popular or profitable. This includes the entire culture and not just attitudes about race. This is probably why it's the most misunderstood, least written about, and still poorest region in the nation.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:13 AM
 
Location: NC
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not in south carolina....the state has some pretty large cities for that region, ie greenville-spartanburg-anderson-clemson.....to tell you the truth, i don't know for eastern tennessee and i visit there twice a year and i'm black. most of the blacks i see there are out of town visitors like me
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:45 AM
 
5,389 posts, read 8,113,492 times
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What an interesting concept of South Knoxville as a hotbed of abolitionists. Links please? And why are there so few AAs here? Seriously - I remember my XH coming home about 30 years ago with the news - "Did you know there are black people living in S knoxville?!" It was that unusual at the time. This was a tiny enclave off Moody ave, now I know about the Hastie house on Woodlawn - But historically there have been no AAs in SK. I generally assumed they were afraid of us as we are the most hillbilly sector of town.

That has changed in the last 20 yrs or so and we have a bit of integration. But little white flight. I guess we are secure in the knowlege that this will always be a hillbilly stronghold. I wish I could say we are not bigoted but that ain't entirely so.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Atlanta and St Simons Island, GA
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The 1950's Census indicated even then there were virtually no blacks living in the mountain counties of north GA. During its settlement, the locals were anything but hospitable to them. As result, you really dont have an indigineous black dialect there.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:35 AM
 
51,986 posts, read 74,558,909 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnoxVolunteer23 View Post
South Knoxville and Bristol were abolitionist hotbeds before even Philly was and was pretty much a no go zone for the KKK. You go there in a white robe trying to recruit and you get threatened, beat up or even killed.

Also many whites that relocated there later (a couple decades pre civil war) did so simply because they hated slavery. Many folks from GA, and AL, and MS packed up everything they owned and left there families over beefs over family members having slaves. Some of these folks even stole slaves from slaveowners/family members and took them with them to East TN to be free. So I would not describe the area as being largely indifferent. Sure most people probably didn't care either way but for every pro slavery person there, there were 100 folks that hated slavery. Being pro-slavery in that area during that time was not popular and in some neighborhood and towns even dangerous. Being pro-segregation during the jim crow days was also not popular and looked down upon, but to a lesser extent. Segregation was largely never enforced here, most hillbillies are mixed with Cherokee to start with anyway and really did come here for religious and social freedom, not to make money.

The Appalachian region to this day has always been very independent from the rest of the country both south and north as a whole and has almost always had opinions that were opposite of what was popular or profitable. This includes the entire culture and not just attitudes about race. This is probably why it's the most misunderstood, least written about, and still poorest region in the nation.
That statement made me think of this group: Melungeon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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