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Perspectives

Jerry Turner

‘Where the West Begins’ debates Texas identity

Glen Sample Ely, a documentary scholar, has taken on a major task when challenging the concept of Texas’ identity. Is the state history bound to the South or to the popular belief that it is a western state? After all, Texas raises cotton and had its roots in slavery and segregation, everything makes Texas a southern state. But still others argue that natives and ranching make it a western state. Outside of Texas, people do not know what to make of the Lone Star state. Since not understanding Texas, most if not all scholars and history writers try to forget it. Ely takes the position of a detective or a research doctor by examining Texas’s DNA and discovering the dividing line between West and the East/South is the 100th meridian.

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