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I am wondering if any of you read Maya Angelou's books? There's an essay " Grandmother's Victory". In it, She mentions the word "Powhitetrash", this phase indicates that Angelou harboured superiority complex class against white poor kids that came to their store frequently. She is mindful of the racial issues existing in the community but since Angelou is a kid too, she couldn't pass the discontent to the elder whites,thus extending her displeasure to poor white kids,this can only be understood when readers explore the use of the demeaning word "powhitetrash" frequently which was a clear classification and indication that Angelou's Grandmother was a somebody in the community.She owned the land and grocery store, of which land- and the "Powwhitetrash" family lived on it. I am not saying that Maya was a racist,but I am exploring her writing and how she played with words by then. What are your views?

Humanlove 7 Apr 10

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When I was a child... people (and to a lessor degree now) seem to always be judging others, monitoring their actions, based on the Bible! Lots of Scripture was used on people to defend their judgements! My own mother, never had an original thought...she backed all her ideas up with scripture verses, along with that 'poor-white-trash' thing! It seems to be a culture here, that I have not seen much of... in other areas!

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As intolerable as nails on a chalkboard.

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That is interesting...because when I grew up, we were 'poor-white-trash,'...it was a way of putting people down, especially if ugly gossip was spread. Everyone, was just poor or poorer! But, as years passed and our financial wellbeing improved, I noticed my in-laws, and other people used that same analogy, with people they didn't like or heard gossip on. It was a way to degrade others...and it tied into a religious belief, about sin and sinners! In fact, where I came from, I got the notion that a person was only 'affirmed'...when they were dead! They would be 'made over,' as if they were a saint! Which, for a long while, twisted my idea about when a person, was valued! So 'poor white trash,' was used to call a person down, put him in his place! I find that to this day, in this area.

So you are understanding my point of view.

@0752532706 can't say that for sure, but I know something about this culture! Maya, came out of this bible belt...even slave owners would have left their marks on Maya's people when they were free. So I can easily believe that 'po' white trash'...was expressed in the negro language, rather than 'poor,' white trash' in my area. I do remember this ever-so-clearly! As it left a mark of shame on me! 'Poor-white-trash,' could be used...where their dwellings were trashy, or when people behaved badly, or used to indicate people were, sinning and even if they were ragged! Dolly Pardon, comes to mind...she would have had similar experience.

I don't remember "poor white trash" or "white trash" (for short) having anything to do with the Bible, I always thought it was a class issue. For reference, I grew up north of the Mason-Dixon, and in a town where black people are a tiny minority. I don't know if that's always been the case (blacks being a tiny minority in my hometown).

In more recent years, a dear friend who majored in history in college told me more about the term: That poor whites could be rallied against blacks as needed. Even being poor (which is a sin in the Crapitalism Bible - US version) they still were "at least not black".

When I was younger, I couldn't understand why oppressed peoples in the US didn't ban together, but then I started learning more actual history.

@ailurophile other than my daddy taking 'rabbits and squirrels' to the colored area of Gainesville, to sell, I had no experience with black folks! And, I cannot remember them being denigrated at all. I am speaking from my personal experience out in the country. I have paid careful attention to how it works, because I was deelpy wounded by this culture...and it continues to this day. That is why I am leaving for good.

@ailurophile I hope I cleared up what I was trying to point out...my grandfather and 4 of his sons were self appointed preachers! So I am proposing that religion played a big part in what I witnessed! It is a cultural conbination.

@Freedompath I wasn't trying to negate your experience. I was relating my experience and knowledge of the term. By some metrics, I'm poor white trash. Maybe there was a religion-related component to the term where I grew up. I left the area for college when I was a teenager, so I may not yet have had enough experience to read between-the-lines for what people fully meant.

I hope you are able to leave soon. I haven't really looked back, other than visiting family once a decade.

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