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The origin of ‘white trash,’ and why class is still an issue in the U.S

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Nancy Isenberg - White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

Roosevelt House hosts a special evening featuring Nancy Isenberg, author of the groundbreaking bestseller White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, in conversation with Frank Rich, Writer-at-Large for New York Magazine, and Bill Goldstein, Public Programming Curator for Roosevelt House.

Isenberg, the T. Harry Williams Professor of history at Louisiana State University, has updated the paperback of White Trash to include updated reflections on the 2016 presidential election. As Isenberg and Rich will discuss, the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, from the earliest British colonial settlement to today's hillbillies.

Isenberg's White Trash upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society – where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the nineteenth century, she argues; Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics, a widely popular movement that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and the Great Society. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the American identity.

Welcoming remarks by Roosevelt House Director Harold Holzer.

Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College, May 9, 2017.
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Nancy Isenberg, MD

Nancy Isenberg, MD, specializes in neurology and cognitive disorders.
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White Trash

In her best-selling history of the class system in America, historian Nancy Isenberg upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash. Benjamin Reiss, fellow historian and author will join Isenberg in a conversation on the untold history of class in America.
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Andrew Jackson and Reading White Trash by Nancy Isenberg

Convinced to tackle this brick and working my way through it. Couldn’t not comment on the chapter profiling president Andrew Jackson. White Trash by Nancy Isenberg is proving frighteningly relevant.

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35th Portier Lecture: White Trash: The 400-Year History of Class in America

Presented by Nancy Isenberg, Ph.D.
The 35th Annual Portier Lecture: White Trash: The 400-Year History of Class in America

Thursday, October 29, at 7:30, at Byrne Memorial Hall
Spring Hill College - Mobile, Alabama

Nancy Isenberg is the T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University. She is the author of Madison and Jefferson, 2010, with Andrew Burstein; Fallen Founder: The Life of Aaron Burr, 2007; and Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America, 1998.

The Portier Lecture is the annual history lecture, named in honor of Bishop Michael Portier, the first bishop of Mobile, who founded Spring Hill College in 1830.

This event was sponsored by the Spring Hill College Department of History. This video was produced in association with the Department of Communication Arts.

Produced by J.L. Stevens II

The origin of ‘white trash,’ and why class is still an issue in the U.S.

In “White Trash,” Nancy Isenberg delves into the history of class in America, starting with British colonization. At that time, America was seen as a wasteland -- a place to discard the idle poor. The agrarian communities they subsequently formed often remained poor due to a phenomenon Isenberg calls “horizontal mobility.” Jeffrey Brown speaks with the author about how we can evolve past class.

How a new aristocracy's segregation puts stress on society

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Growing class division is destabilizing our society, argues author and philosopher Matthew Stewart in a provocative Atlantic magazine cover story. He says there's a group in between the top 0.1 percent and bottom 90 percent that plays an important role in running the economy, while setting up barriers that prevent most from realizing the American dream. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports.

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Growing up “white trash,” I was fearless when it came to art

For Kim Dorland, art comes from challenge — and his upbringing gave him the courage to pursue a career making his boundary-pushing paintings.

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Kim Dorland pushes the boundaries of painted representation through an exploration of memory, material, nostalgia, identity and place. His refusal to remain faithful to one medium or approach plays into the symbiotic nature of his work: the deadness of acrylic, the sheen of spray paint, the density of oil paint and new experimentations with digital painting all convene to create the raw, fleeting quality of his canvases.

But for Dorland, a career in the arts was something he had to fight for. My father died at a really young age for a really stupid reason. I think I was kind of on that path myself, he says. When I first started painting, my class really was important to me — to remember that I sort of came from white trash. Like, I grew up really poor. I lived in a trailer that we rented.

The beautiful thing about growing up white trash is that I was fearless when it came to this because if I failed, it's not like I was going to be disappointing anyone in my family...At the time, I was really just stupid. Who goes into the arts? But I didn't have that fear. I'm not in here making product. I'm trying my best to make art — and art, I think, comes from challenge.

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About: Welcome to CBC Arts, your home for the most surprising, relevant and provocative stories featuring artists from diverse communities across Canada. Our job is to fill your feed with the disruptors and innovators changing how we see the country through movement, images and sound — and to inspire you to join in too.

The 'white working class' explained

A new CNN/Kaiser Family Foundation poll breaks down what it means to be a white, working class person. CNN's Christine Romans explains who is in that demographic, and what they want out of the election.

Meet the rural Americans who fear they’re being forgotten

Hear from rural voters in Ashtabula County, Ohio, as they describe the most important issues to them.
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The Key Takeaways from Nancy Isenberg's White Trash

This is a riveting chronicle of class in America as explored through the role and the plight of the white underclass from the days of colonial settlers to the present. Visit ... ... for more!

Kirkus TV Interview with Bestselling Author Nancy Isenberg

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review.

What Can 'The History of White People' Teach Us About Race in America?

Each Spring, the Johnson Institute sponsors the annual James Weldon Johnson Distinguished Lecture, a major address by a distinguished race scholar and public intellectual. The 2019 speaker was historian and award-winning scholar and writer Nell Irvin Painter who delivered the lecture entitled, What Can 'The History of White People' Teach Us About Race in America?”

Nell Irvin Painter is a distinguished and award winning scholar and writer. A graduate of Harvard University, Painter went on to become the Edwards Professor Emeritus of American History at Princeton University. She is the author of seven books and countless articles relating to the history of the American South. Painter’s latest book, The History of White People, guides us through more than 2000 years of Western civilization, illuminating not only the invention of race but the frequent praise of “whiteness.”She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University, her M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and her undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley. Painter retired from the Princeton History Department in 2005, and used her newly acquired free time to earn a BFA degree from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2009 and received her MFA in painting at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011.

In June 2018, Painter published her newest book, entitled Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over, about her experiences during this time.

This event is co-sponsored by Emory Department of History, Institute of African Studies and the Jimmy Carter Endowed Chair Fund.

The James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference supports research, teaching, and public dialogue that examine race and intersecting dimensions of human difference including but not limited to class, gender, religion, and sexuality.

The History of White Supremacy and Racism in America Today

Steve Adubato is joined by a panel of leaders to discuss the history of white supremacy and racism in America and its prominence today. The panel examines how hate groups are influenced by divisive rhetoric and social media and how hate can manifest itself in extreme violence.

Panelists include:

Oren Segal, Director, Center on Extremism, Anti-Defamation League
Elise Boddie, Professor, Rutgers Law School & Civil Rights Expert
Linda Gordon, University Professor of History, NYU & Author, The Second Coming of the KKK: The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920's & the American Political Tradition
Walter Fields, Executive Editor, NorthStarNews.com & Chairman, Black Parents Workshop

11/30/19
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Reflections on : White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

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Review: White Trash- The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America

Non-Fiction book review of American history and class system. Get your copy here -
They were White and They Were Slaves -
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Poor Whites

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Poor Whites · Chris Rock

Born Suspect

℗ 1991 Atlantic Recording Corporation for the United States and WEA International Inc. for the world outside of the United States.

Producer: Chris Rock
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Writer: Chris Rock

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Whiteness: The Meaning of a Racial, Social and Legal Construct

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election and bestselling books like Hillbilly Elegy and White Trash, there is a growing realization that whiteness is as much a social racial and political identity as being African, Latin, Asian or Native American. In partnership with the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, JWJI is pleased to host a panel on the evolution of whiteness in American society. Our esteemed panel brings their interdisciplinary perspective to the panel to explain why race—including whiteness—still matters in America. (November 16, 2017)

Panelists:

Richard Delgado, John J. Sparkman Chair of Law, The University of Alabama School of Law, author of Critical Race Theory

David Ikard, Professor of Africana Studies, Vanderbilt University, author of Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in the 21st Century

Nancy Isenberg, T. Harry Williams Professor of History, Louisiana State University, author of White Trash

Jane Junn, Professor of Political Science, University of Southern California, author of The Politics of Belonging: Race, Immigration, and Public Politics

David Roediger, Foundation Professor of American Studies and History, University of Kansas, author of The Wages of Whiteness

The James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference supports research, teaching, and public dialogue that examine race and intersecting dimensions of human difference including but not limited to class, gender, religion, and sexuality.

3 Books To Widen Your View of U.S. History

Rincey has three non-fiction books that provide some insight to neglected areas of U.S. History.

Books Mentioned
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg
Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

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Want to understand why Trump has rural America feeling hopeful? Listen to this Ohio town.

The small town of Wilmington, Ohio, was devastated in 2008 when DHL left and took more than 7,000 jobs with it. As the town tries to claw its way back, the Post explains why Donald Trump's election victory has brought it new life.

(Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

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