Bryan’s Question Corner #7

Here is my question for section four of Wages of Whiteness:

Roediger mentions Herman Melville fairly frequently in Wages of Whiteness, and his epilogue reminded of the passage in Moby Dick where Ishmael’s racism folds into a deep, intimate friendship with Queequeg when the two men are forced to share the same bed. Part of Melville’s point in Moby Dick seems to be that it’s impossible to function on a multiracial whaling crew as a white man without finding new, expansive ways to relate and work with people of color. Did the armies sometimes function like this in Civil War-era America? I’m thinking specifically about what we might learn by contrasting the Charles Halpine lyrics Roediger quotes of 173 with those on 174.


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