Southern Pride In Tony Horwitz's Confederates In The Attic

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Catlyn Cox Confederates in the Attic Essay Throughout Tony Horwitz’s novel Confederates in the Attic an overarching theme of Southern Pride occurs. Tony gets first-hand experiences of what southern heritage means through a cross-country road trip visiting historic sights and meeting locals. Tony meets people from every walk of life and is open to their stories and historical information. He meets people who have been oppressed and the oppressors themselves. Many people show their pride through commemorating the past, in the south this often means commemorating the Civil War. Pride is coupled with the ways men and women choose to honor the Civil War, and the rift it has caused within racial tensions. Men and women honor the confederacy in…show more content…
Most of the southern people mentioned in Tom’s journey were genuinely interested in sharing the history of the Civil War and honoring soldiers who passed fighting for the country they loved. Many African Americans Tom spoke with felt they were treated as average people. The first African American Tom met on his journey said when he arrived in Salisbury, North Carolina he was the only black man in sight. James Connor also said generally white people treat him like any other human being. One man said African Americans are chosen people who have proven they are capable of surviving many atrocities. Many other African Americans Tom met had an attitude of acceptance but apprehension from white people in their area. My favorite quote from the book came from Emily Hayes, and African American woman working weaving baskets outside of a convenience store which sold rebel memorabilia, “They can remember that war all they want, so long’s they remember they lost.”(52) Emily’s words would not be an acceptable opinion for many people Tony met on his journey, I do not recall any southern people admitting defeat in the story. This quote came from Charleston, North Carolina where it seemed the Civil War was only a small segment of the state’s rich history, almost like they wanted to sweep it under the rug. Similarly, Laura Jones spoke about Mississippi saying segregation was…show more content…
Tony scribbled in his notebook about conversations of lynching and swastikas while the brooding men threatened to beat him up. The bar patrons openly supported the KKK or Ku Klux Klan, a racist organization who uses violent tactics to suppress other races. The KKK calls themselves an American post-Civil War society, in their own twisted way they commemorate the Civil War. While reading I learned the state of Kentucky houses many active KKK members and rallies. The KKK is fighting their own war of sorts, against other races, specifically African Americans, and religions such as Judaism. Their pitch to draw recruits includes words like “justice” and “religion” while burning crosses and hating people of other religions. Many people support KKK beliefs without actually being members. One such person was Bud Sharpe from South Carolina, who openly favored segregation from African Americans then claimed it was not hatred, but preference. When Tony visited an Alabama public school he got a taste of racism from black students to white people. Although, he finds out the students are simply uninformed. When he asks them what the Civil War meant, they said nothing to do with race or slavery. Tony spoke to a twelve year old girl who compared Salisbury’s Prison Camp to Auschwitz. This was an insightful view for a young person to make, and not an incorrect one because in each situation people were

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