Selling The East In The American South Summary

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Reflecting on “Selling the East in the American South” Vivek Bald’s “Selling the East in the American South” focuses on Bengali Muslims and their experience immigrating to the United States. The overwhelming sentiment is that they, and other Asians and people from the Middle East, have been removed from the narrative of studies despite obvious involvement. First, Bald explains that the Punjabi arrived pre-Revolution and moved west to avoid taxation, the British casting them out of the colonies, and they settled in California for agriculture. Then, when the Bengalis arrived they broke normal migration patterns. They remained mostly nomadic and commodified their culture and lifestyle. While the Chinese experienced xenophobia and racial violence, Americans ate up the aspects of Middle Easter lifestyles that the Bengali sojourning laborers offered them. Most interestingly was that men and women embraced different goods. Men were interested in hookah, masculinity and power, and weapons. Women’s interest was around fabric, jewelry, and interior decorating, along with independence, self-definition, and to liberate themselves sexually.…show more content…
Previously there were only two reasons, being a free white person or a person of African descent; however, they came to join family. Despite being traveling workers and coming from many similar communities to America in small groups their traveling did seem to be done mostly alone. Equally as interesting, was how they influenced cities and society. New Orleans became a location of sex trafficking, year-round tourism, dancing and costumes. All of these had large influence of their culture, particularly Burlesque and then Broadway accepting the Indian nautch style of dance. Bald explains that theater, literature, and music all fell into popular culture despite the majority of settled Middle Eastern immigrants joining the African American

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