In Conclusion: Elvis, Wiggers, and Crossing Over to Nonwhiteness

David R. Roediger

in Colored White

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780520233416
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520930803 | DOI:
In Conclusion: Elvis, Wiggers, and Crossing Over to Nonwhiteness

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This chapter addresses the most widely studied crossover success, Elvis Presley, and the almost entirely unexamined contemporary phenomenon of the “wigger.” In doing this, it tries to illustrate both why cultural crossover matters and why it cannot by itself generate a crossing over into nonwhiteness. It suggests how the vision of a nonwhite society can help to transcend crossover and build a better bridge. Presley's case shows the possibilities and limits of racial crossover. The varied explanations of the origin of the word wigger, and of its meanings are offered. The cases of racial crossovers among people of color have different dynamics but also define no surefire path to unity and liberation. Crossing over still requires the steady, everyday work of organizing to fight against white privilege and against the miseries that make whites settle for those privileges and encourage others to aspire to whiteness.

Keywords: wigger; Elvis Presley; racial crossover; nonwhiteness; crossing over; whiteness

Chapter.  12450 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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