Loving Kindness and Its Legacies
This concluding chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some final thoughts. This book contributes to scholarship on racial and ethnic identity by showing that belonging in the South was not just a matter of imitating whiteness; it required a complex staging of one's membership in an ostensibly united community of chivalrous men and respectable ladies. In the Jewish South, benevolence and honor—concepts infused with gendered and racialized meaning—were inseparable, and immigrant Jews had to learn to navigate an unfamiliar political and cultural climate in which particular modes of etiquette and collective memory were essential. Their exceptional performance of gemilut hasadim gave southern Jews a means of proving not just their capacity to “take care of their own” but provided irrefutable proof of their belonging in a narrative of southern transcendence.
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