Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2015


Historical Studies


There has been significant research on various interpretations of the American South, and the relationship between Southern and American identity. However, there has been little investigation into how modern popular culture depicts and constructs the Southern past and how this shapes Southern identity. This article interrogates the relationship between modern films, race, and Southern history to ask, has the challenge to codified Jim Crow segregation changed filmic portrayals of Southern history? How do these portrayals affect both Southern and American identity? Using race as a lens, the article argues that the end of the Civil Rights Movement has created a new period of Southern identity creation, with films exonerating the contemporary South for racism and consigning most depictions of racism to the historical South.


This is a manuscript of an article that originally appeared in Journal of American Studies of Turkey, Spring 2015, Issue 41. This journal is available online at