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Old 06-11-2012, 11:28 PM
 
Location: Knoxville Tenn
171 posts, read 284,210 times
Reputation: 127

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Quote:
Originally Posted by KnoxVolunteer23 View Post
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.
I must respectfully disagree. There are tons of blacks in Knoxville who don't sound white. In fact, MOST blacks in Knoxville don't sound white. Blacks around here are country, or should I say they speak with a slang. But they don't sound white. Again, AAs in this area DO speaking with a slang, but don't sound white. I bet if you talk to 10 blacks on the phone, you're gonna know 8-10 are black. If you speak to whites, you'll know 10-10 are white. In fact, I'd argue the complete opposite. I think there's a DISTINCT difference in how blacks and whites speak in this area. They are both country but vastly different. I would argue that Northern Blacks and Whites speak very similar in many cases. Get on the phone with my uncles from Cleveland Ohio and you would swear they were white. They speak SO proper it will blow your mind! And they grew up in East Cleveland...the slums.

So while I agree that blacks have their own accent in this region, it's their own in comparison with other blacks. The blacks here sound nothing like the whites.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:58 AM
 
23 posts, read 20,773 times
Reputation: 27
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.
We must have lived in a different Knoxville. Bristol and Sullivan county were very pro confederate, as was the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga. Most of Knoxville's prominent citizens were pro confederate. The east Tennessee counties of Sullivan,Monroe,Rhea,Sequatchie and Polk all voted for secession.Of the well known unionists of Knoxville, Parson Brownlow, Andrew Johnson and Horace Maynard, none were native to Tennessee. Only Maynard could have been considered an abolitionist. Read "Mountain rebels"by W. Todd Groce, available in any bookstore in the area.
I grew up in Knoxville in the 1950's and believe me segregation(which of course was totally wrong) was alive and well. All schools, restaurants, bus terminals, theaters were completely segregated.Back in those days Maryville was the state headquarters for the KKK. So east Tennessee was no better or worse than the rest of the state or the rest of the south.
Also I consider hillbilly as a very derogatory term,like cracker or even the n-word.
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Old 08-24-2012, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
1,285 posts, read 2,596,243 times
Reputation: 1357
I listened to this video without watching it and it sounds to me like a southern hill accent more than anything. Randy Moss was born and raised in Rand, WV.


Upset:Randy Moss Says He Feels Unappreciated In New England & Thinks This Year Will Be His Last! - YouTube
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Old 08-24-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: The South
4,301 posts, read 2,992,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sugamola View Post
Also I consider hillbilly as a very derogatory term,like cracker or even the n-word.
+++
I also.
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE (via SW Virginia)
1,644 posts, read 1,671,170 times
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Absolutely...black, white...we're all Appalachian! The Appalachian accent has a heavy twang to it. My high school was probably 30% black and most of them have a twang to their accent...but I do too. I'm not sure if it is isolated to the black people in the area or just the people in general. Older people don't have as much of a twang to their accent but the younger crowd did....across races. What is funny to me is that the black people in appalachia are just as country as the whites. Traditionally when you think of hunting, fishing, turkey calling, or playing banjo you think of an older white dude but in Appalachia you the racial divide seems to break down. It's great!
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Old 08-24-2012, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Arkansas
374 posts, read 645,290 times
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I talked with a black man from southern Missouri once who had a twangy Ozark accent, no different than a white hillbilly's. He also was wearing a NASCAR shirt, Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:02 AM
 
Location: Carolina
426 posts, read 650,421 times
Reputation: 285
Great and interesting thread. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you!
Seems this video is relevent to this thread. It contains a Black, an Indian and a white Appalachian woman. The accents are all similiar but I think the black and white woman sound slightly different.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
152 posts, read 237,169 times
Reputation: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugamola View Post
We must have lived in a different Knoxville. Bristol and Sullivan county were very pro confederate, as was the cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga. Most of Knoxville's prominent citizens were pro confederate. The east Tennessee counties of Sullivan,Monroe,Rhea,Sequatchie and Polk all voted for secession.Of the well known unionists of Knoxville, Parson Brownlow, Andrew Johnson and Horace Maynard, none were native to Tennessee. Only Maynard could have been considered an abolitionist. Read "Mountain rebels"by W. Todd Groce, available in any bookstore in the area.
I grew up in Knoxville in the 1950's and believe me segregation(which of course was totally wrong) was alive and well. All schools, restaurants, bus terminals, theaters were completely segregated.Back in those days Maryville was the state headquarters for the KKK. So east Tennessee was no better or worse than the rest of the state or the rest of the south.
Also I consider hillbilly as a very derogatory term,like cracker or even the n-word.
Actually, KnoxVolunteer is somewhat correct, but is also overstating some stuff. Chattel slavery was never popular in East TN because plantations didn't grow well there, but there was slavery. Much like with many other areas and/or states it was the fact that plantations weren't profitable which caused them to mostly abandon major support for slavery, not a greater moral calling outside of a select few. East TN had the nation's first EMANCIPATION newspaper in 1820 roughly 30 years before the abolition movement would catch on, but remember that emancipation was very different from abolition and abolition was NEVER very popular ANYWHERE (except Wisconsin and somewhat in Michigan) until the Civil War had begun.

The cities of Knoxville and Chattanooga were interesting during the secession because they started out pro-CSA in an area which threatened to secede from the rest of the state to stay in the Union. However, after East TN became occupied and the CSA troops started abusing and hanging citizens off bridges (they tried to burn to keep the CSA from taking over) then enthusiasm quickly waned. During the whole "rich man's war and poor man's fight" drama which followed as conscription was implemented, the dominantly poor people of East TN became increasingly hostile towards the CSA and praised the Union Army as liberators when they arrived (although many of the local aristocrats weren't happy)

When you say "no better" or "no worse" than the rest of the state I think that's kind of loaded... Better or worse in terms of what? East TN was FAR more Unionist than any other part of the state, but being Unionist wasn't equivalent to being anti-slavery and anti-slavery wasn't equivalent to being an abolitionist. Heck, even being an abolitionist was far from equivalent to being pro-racial equality! There are hundreds of places where definitions split from one another so "better" or "worse" depends on what you're trying to measure. If you're talking about being better in terms of loyalty to the Union, then East TN far outranks most others caught up in secession. If you're talking about anti-slavery then East TN would still outrank other parts of the state mostly because of the economic/political advantages the institution gave Middle and West TN. But racial equality is something East Tennesseans weren't terribly enthusiastic about, either, even if they were more likely to accept black people voting as a method to maintain some sort of political control and boost them since after the Civil War East TN went Republican Red and never fully turned back.

My family is from the Appalachians and I don't consider hillbilly a bad term at all even though some haters use it that way. Actually, up in the mountains we sometimes use those stereotypes to our advantage, too. Check out Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and you'll find attractions like "hillbilly golf" and other similar things which "them thar hillbillies" have capitalized on. Like how in Northern Florida being a "Florida Cracker" is considered a major badge of honor. I would never EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER equate cracker, hillbilly or redneck as being anywhere remotely equivalent to the n-word. Absolutely not.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:57 PM
Status: "Make Canada Great Again." (set 3 days ago)
 
Location: Canada
3,949 posts, read 3,694,397 times
Reputation: 2692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jpierpont View Post
Great and interesting thread. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you!
Seems this video is relevent to this thread. It contains a Black, an Indian and a white Appalachian woman. The accents are all similiar but I think the black and white woman sound slightly different.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r
+1

I agree, very interesting thread.
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