Pocahontas Exception

The Pocahontas Exception by Kevin Noble Maillard discusses the legal definition of that phrase. First and foremost, I found it interesting that the white people of that time were so interested in maintaining whiteness as separate as possible from other races, except for Pocahontas, which many of them were only too eager to claim lineage to. It feels like they wanted to identify with Native Americans as a way of shielding themselves from criticism or to romanticize Native American Culture. The racial hierarchy is at the forefront of the minds of white people at that time.

The article talks about how individuals with 1/16th native blood are still considered white. This exception was codified because so many white people claimed Native ancestry that they were denied certain rights by the Racial Integrity Act. They added this exception so that the “right” people would not be affected by this bill. I found the article interesting because growing up in this area, I’ve met very clearly white people who claimed that they were Native American with intense seriousness, which I found rather odd.


This weeks reading is a collection of written excerpts by faculty at The University of Virginia concerning the Charlottesville protests. It’s interesting and kinda weird. I actually remember where I was when I heard about this event. I even remember then President Trump talking about how there were ‘fine people on both sides’, which was a new low, even for him. The tiki torches being marched throught the streets. Really, rather surprising. How often do you live through an event, especially one so close to home, and know afterwards that it’ll be taught in history books. Seems like that’s happening more and more these days. It starts as a petition to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a local park. (Which was removed July 10, 2021.) The petition ballooned to include the Stonewall Jackson statue as well. The readings also explore other reminder about white supremacy, like slave auction blocks, similar to the one that was removed from fredericksrbug. Which I think is a good idea. our city should present this history like how they do at the african american museum in dc. which is a really great museum, even thought the outside design isn’t that great.

the second and third and fourth sections talk about blue ribbon commision, antisemitism and sparking larger debate within UVAS communities. I thought it was interesting that the rioters were completely okay being so outwardly racist. I was really eye opening. Although I know that many that were identified were fired from their jobs. I know that white supremicsts have a strange fixiation on jewish people inparticular, because they can’t always identify them solely on looks. Overall, this weeks reading was kinda sad, the others seemed somehow removed, like distant memories, even though they were not that long ago. This reading somehow seems more present. It’d been interesting to have a reading that wasn’t so sad. Something intriguing and fun. – jv


The First Articles discusses the issues facing Ethiopian Immigrants. It discusses the issues of cultural assimilation and the choices that affect how they identify. I think it was intriguing how they react in different situations. I know other second generation individuals of immigrant families, they usually retain their ability to speak the language, but not the same appreciation for this culture or mannerisms. It’s interesting how the role of schools can affect assimilation, you see that in the previous weeks articles concerning ESL class, in affecting how different groups intergrate into a new society.

The second articles, Hybrid Sensibilities” also by Chacko, discusses the issues that many Asian-Indian first generation immigrants have to deal with when they first immigrated to america. I think it is interesting that they believed that they would have an easy time with their assimilation, but they were the victims of ignorance in many cases. I also thought it was interesting that many of them were highly educated, but they did not always translate well into American society in they way that they may have thought. Also the aftermath of 9/11 and what many had to deal with was sad to hear.

The third article. Feminised financial flows: how gender affects
remittances in Honduran–US transnational families” by Allison J. Petrozziello, talks about the concept of remittance in regard to Honduran immigrants. I thought this was interesting, because, even thought I was familiar with the concept of remittance, I did not actually know the phrase that discribed the concept. I think it was interesting hwo the article speaks about how the money the individuals send back to their country sometimes becomes the only way in which they feel a connection with their children and the people they left behind. Finally, it disucsses ways in which policy can be crafted to assist these people to a smoother immigration process.

Immigration Articles

Latinization of the Central Shenandoah Valley addresses the phenomenon of Latino workers and families moving into the Central Shenandoah as well as the deeper reasons behind their relocation and the circumstances that move to make their transition permenant. The author uses the term Latinization to describe the population, and cultural shifts that have undergone these regions as more and more latinos move into the area looking for work. They generally find work in poultry or at local orchards where they do grueling work for little pay. The author also examines how these individuals sometimes function as anchors that summon more of their familes and others from their local communities into the same region that they now live.
Perfectly American discusses the nature of american involvement in refugee relocation. It also talks about the general idea of refugees and taking in refugees of wars or political oppression is somewhat ambivilent in regards to refugees. Still, refugee stories are loved in america, especially the ones where the refugee rises above and becomes a success story. One of the stories I thought was interesting was the one about the child who escaped from Pol Pots terror regime in Cambodia. The articles looks at the dichotomy of the American Dream.
Immigrant Newcomers is an article that discusses the way that media crafts narratives surrounding immigrants and shapes the expectation for how they will integrate into society. Discusses the dichotomy of in-groups and out-groups. A them and us sense is prevalant in many of these communities. Makes a cogent point that the struggles of immigrants are often lionized, but they are usually European when this is the case. Highlights the percieved culture war between various groups. This was an interesting article. I highlights the fear many people have of new groups erasing thier culture, they way they erased other cultures.

Housing Issues – JV

“The African American Housing Crisis in Alexandria, Virginia, 1930s-1960s” discusses the issues of housing availability for African Americans within the city of Alexandria in post-World War II era. The article talks about how blacks usually lived outside the city limits where they could own their own land and not be interfered with by the city government, but those same governments would use eminent domain or annexation tactics to recoup black lands and redistribute or repurpose it to benefit whites. It reminds be of the Israel-Palestine settlement issues on the West Bank. It was interesting to me that the perceived threat to white’s way of life was propagated through literature. I thought it was interesting that the activists fought about unequal libraries before moving onto housing inequality issues. It was sad to hear how politicians worked to draw its neighborhoods along more racially segregated lines.

“Eminent Domain Destroys a Community: Leveling East Arlington to Make Way for the Pentagon” is an article that broaches the topic of the reappropriation of land and how eminent domain has been defined then and now. Additionally, it talks about how this tactic is used to take black owned land for the purpose of benefiting the public, but usually that public is not black people in that era. In this case, the land was taken from black families, and they were never compensated well and left with no place to go, especially if the individuals were already not well off.

The third article “Land Development and Racism in Fairfax County” discusses institutional racism that reflect the values of the people in charge that created these laws. Talks about how it’s difficult for blacks to attain work or loans so that they can afford to reform or build or buy houses in the suburbs. These are all institutional issues. African Americans have a much harder time qualifying for loans so it makes it harder for them to attain the needed money to build a house or buy a house in the suburbs, in this sense they are often sequestered into low income neighborhoods and incidentally makes it harder to generated generational wealth.

Southern Stalemate – JV

It’s interesting that it was highschool students in 1951 that originally went on strike to protest unequal schools that helps bring this problem to the national spotlight. It’s sad that PE county was so committed to segregation that they rather close for five years than to teach anybody. In fact, further into the reading(pg.5) you see how committed to disenfranchising blacks that PE county was. Restricting voting rights and the state mandated that freed blacks had to leave the state within one year during slavery. The county also made it seem like it was black families faults for no education because they choose integration as opposed to allowing private schools for black children to be formed. The author also talks about “white flight” where white families of means were able to take their children to more homogenous areas or put them into white only private schools to avoid integration. Whites in PE also thought they were more tolerant than other southern states pointing out that they have the fewest lynchings out of any of the southern states…
I think an important change in the fight for desegregation was the NAACP’s focus change from working for equalizaiton of school facilities to the abolition of public school segregation. This forced school systems to spend equal money on each school instead of changing the allocation to individual schools. It was the slow move towards equalization of public schools that caused activists to change their focus from equalization of desegregation which is somewhat ironic. Opponents of intergration tried to frame this legal battle as being about states rights to choose what to do. A common refrain. It was interesting to see how for some that the issues wasn’t that important to them, but then it became a huge deal as things progressed. The continuely talk about state’s rights and also how they are more enlightened than their other southern state counterparts. Interestingly, the invoke socialism and likened intergration to the Soveit Union, a tactic that you see quite often these days too. History is cyclical apparently. 17 years after this stuff occured they revisted PE and the climate was compared to a cold war. With simmering emotion but not much advert action, but the proponents of desegregation felt that they had won the battle, but the war would continue on for years to come.

Climate Fever – JV

I like that Steve Nash is addressing the importance of using precise language when talking about climate change. He thinks that the currently implication of climate change and global warming are too benign, that they offer ease of mind, but he’d prefer that they use the work climate disruption, which he thinks is far more accurate. He thinks this is important because climate change is not a far off event, we are currently experiencing it and it is unlikely to stop or slow without a massive international effort. I feel like already that the climate of Va is changing, it seemed in the past that you could count on a decent snow ever winter, but the last few have been pretty sparse. I also thought it was interesting that one of the scientists was proposing to cut down more trees, but just the small ones that limit the reserve in the watershed, but leave the big ones that provide a large shady canopy to absorb sunlight.pg68. Interestingly, they said that more CO2 in the atmosphere might increase the grow season for trees and that they would need absorb more CO2, potentially rectifying the problem, albeit, not without a ton of damage as the atmosphere shifts back into balance. Although, this would take a long time because the trees would have to adapt, which would take a while. Overall, I found the excerpts form the reading rather interesting. – JV

Tangier Island JV

The reading for this week talks about an island called Tangier’s Island. It is located within the Chesapeake watershed. Unfortunately, it is predicted that Tangier Island will likely become a victim of climate change. The writing talks about areas that used to be above water but have now “drowned” as the islanders say. The island is somewhat isolated, so that the inhabitants have a unique style of speech. Most islanders can trace their lineage to one man. Many communities similar to Tangier have had their inhabitants flee as the isles they live on begin to erode. Even if Tangier does not erode, it is unlikely to continue, most young people leave when they are able, leaving behind only older residents. Many of the houses residing on the island remain empty or only have one older resident. Many of the residents fish for blue crab, they are waterman as they say.
I found that the dichotomy of their speech drift really interesting, that the people there have very distinct accents. I saw a video about their speech patterns a while back. It almost sounds Scottish in it’s affect. It’s interesting that they live in Virginia, which is known for having not much of an accent in the northern parts of the state. I’m assuming because of the influx of travelers from other areas of the nation because of the capital. Looking at it’s location on a map however it makes sense. Tangier is really isolated. Tangier also have a lot of eelgrass and large underwater meadows of flora. Many residents are frustrated that the government does not step in to save the island, saying that they have the money. Tangier lost more of it’s population in World War II per capita than any other town in Virginia. They are very keen on authenticity, buying ball caps that they wear for long periods of time until they are salt caked and black with sweat. They do not want to be mistaken for tourists. Tangier is also all white, there are not racial minorities on the island apparently. All in all, I do not think Tangier is long for this world, be it erosion, or the population dwindling below replacement levels. Still, this was an interesting read.

Oral Histories – Rappahannock River

James Pitt

I really liked James, because I too think that large machinery is interesting, I think he story about wanting to see the steam boat is really funny and interesting. I also think it is cool how he was able to catch a ride to colonial beach and bum a ride back home from random people. I like how he discribes walking around colonial beach and looking at all the stores, it is interesting to see these moments through the eyes of someone else. His story about the stock market crash not affecting him as much because he grew up with nothing was aslo interesting to me. He also mentions the shad and herring that used to be very plentiful on the river. During the war he talked about becoming a machinist, which he thought would be hard, but they needed people so he got the job easily.

John Tippet

John was very interesting. His story about working to get rid of the Embrey Dam was interesting. I remember when I was in middle school watching the Dam get blown up on TV. I think it was around 2004-5. The teachers made it seem like a huge deal, but then the explosion was really small and lame and we were all disappointed. We waited for a long time to see it, and then it did not even exlode when it was supposed to, and then when it did, the explosion was really small and underwhelming. Still, it is interesting to meet the guy that was intrumental in that event that I will always remember for the rest of my life.

Chief Anne Richardson

I was interested to hear about Native American life from Anne, I do not know as much about thier culture as I would like, but I thought that she was interesting and clearly has a lot of information regarding her culture and the history of her people. I thougth it was really cool that all the presenters mention similar things about the river and what it means to them. She also mentioned the shad and herring. I thought it was interesting to hear about how her tribe was attacked by the Senaca Tribe and the Susequhana Tribe. I know both of those words since they relate to geographical locations. One is a river and the other is a very cool rock formation in West Virgnia’s Cannan Valley. It was sad to hear about the native american diaspora over the years, what with the wars and then the racism causing a lot of them to depart for the Northern States. I was also cool to hear about how her tribe saved another tribe from slavery by hiding them and helping them escape.