“The History of White People”

During this month, I’ll continue to post on topics related to Franco-American history and culture, as I continue to my on-line fundraising campaign to support the DVD production of my solo show, Piecework: When We Were French.

February is Black History Month, and to mark its beginning, I wanted to recommend a book that was important to me as I researched the show. Normally when we talk about race, we automatically talk about people of color. But what does it mean to be white? Nell Irvin Painter’s The History of White People traces the history of how whiteness has been defined historically, from Ancient Greece to the contemporary United States. While Painter mostly neglects Franco-Americans from her study, it is still a fascinating look at how race was defined at the time when our French-Canadian ancestors were crossing the border into the U.S. to start a new life. This excellent NPR interview with Painter will give a greater sense of the book and the fascinating history it uncovers.

If you value the telling of forgotten stories like these, please remember to visit my Indiegogo fundraising page to learn more about the Piecework DVD project!

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