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But Now I See: The White Southern Racial Conversion Narrative (review)

But Now I See: The White Southern Racial Conversion Narrative (review) But Now I See The White Soudiern Racial Conversion Narrative By Fred Hobson Louisiana State University Press, 1 999 159 pp. Paper $14.95, Cloth $30.00 Reviewed by Steven J. Niven, a doctoral candidate in history at die University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose dissertation is "Shades of Whiteness: Southern Whites Confront die Second Reconstruction, Durham, North Carolina, 1945-1970." Sometimes a writer just gets it right. Fred Hobson does in his brief but enlightening examination of the "white southern racial conversion narrative," But Now I See. Hobson reviews autobiographical works published by white soudiern writers since 1940 -- Lillian Smith, James McBride Dabbs, Will Campbell, Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, and Pat Wärters among them -- and finds in diem a secular version of the Puritan conversion narratives of the colonial era. Like the Puritan narra- tives of Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, these white soudiern writers express their "guilt," "confess," and dien "repent" their "sins," and, finally, achieve "redemption." Similar too, these southern narratives seek both to cleanse die individual sins of the authors and to lead dieir people -- dieir fellow sinners -- to salvation. Unlike the colonial New Englanders, however, most of the writers in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

But Now I See: The White Southern Racial Conversion Narrative (review)

Southern Cultures , Volume 17 (2) – Apr 10, 2011

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
1534-1488
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Abstract

But Now I See The White Soudiern Racial Conversion Narrative By Fred Hobson Louisiana State University Press, 1 999 159 pp. Paper $14.95, Cloth $30.00 Reviewed by Steven J. Niven, a doctoral candidate in history at die University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, whose dissertation is "Shades of Whiteness: Southern Whites Confront die Second Reconstruction, Durham, North Carolina, 1945-1970." Sometimes a writer just gets it right. Fred Hobson does in his brief but enlightening examination of the "white southern racial conversion narrative," But Now I See. Hobson reviews autobiographical works published by white soudiern writers since 1940 -- Lillian Smith, James McBride Dabbs, Will Campbell, Katharine Du Pre Lumpkin, and Pat Wärters among them -- and finds in diem a secular version of the Puritan conversion narratives of the colonial era. Like the Puritan narra- tives of Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards, these white soudiern writers express their "guilt," "confess," and dien "repent" their "sins," and, finally, achieve "redemption." Similar too, these southern narratives seek both to cleanse die individual sins of the authors and to lead dieir people -- dieir fellow sinners -- to salvation. Unlike the colonial New Englanders, however, most of the writers in

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Apr 10, 2011

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