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.
The Journal of American Studies of Turkey, Number 41 (Spring 2015) 95-106