Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth West

Second Advisor

Dr. Gina Caison

Third Advisor

Dr. Constance Bailey


Southern hospitality, whether real or perceived, is a cultural stereotype tied to the Southern region of the United States. Studies on Southern hospitality are growing, possibly due to the recent surge of anti-Black legislation including disbandment of Affirmative Action, critical race theory, and women and gender studies in schools. As more racist and sexist doctrine is dispersed throughout America, it is imperative to evaluate false narratives, such as Southern hospitality, that perpetuate and reinforce structural discrimination, which historical literary works can function to counter. This thesis examines Blues for Mister Charlie by James Baldwin and The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, to divulge their perspectives on Southern hospitality’s prompting of guise and performance, giving rise to what I term “Southern hostility.” I posit that these works reveal the true American past, exposing performative allyship and victimhood by Whites and identity struggles for Blacks to critique issues surrounding race and identity.


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