Your Heritage Will Still Remain details how Mississippians, black and white, constructed their social identity in the aftermath of the crises that transformed the state beginning with the sectional conflict and ending in the late nineteenth century. Michael J. Goleman focuses primarily on how Mississippians thought of their place: as Americans, as Confederates, or as both. In the midst of secession, white Mississippians held firm to an American identity and easily transformed it into a Confederate identity venerating their version of American heritage. After the war, black Mississippians tried to etch their place within the Union and as part of transformed American society. Yet they continually faced white supremacist hatred and backlash. During Reconstruction, radical transformations within the state forced all Mississippians to embrace, deny, or rethink their standing within the Union. Tracing the evolution of Mississippians' social identity from 1850 through the end of the century uncovers why white Mississippians felt the need to create the Lost Cause legend. With personal letters, diaries and journals, newspaper editorials, traveler's accounts, memoirs, reminiscences, and personal histories as its sources, Your Heritage Will Still Remain offers insights into the white creation of Mississippi's Lost Cause and into the battle for black social identity. It goes on to show how these cultural hallmarks continue to impact the state even now.
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