Though the speakers’ accents in bootstrap mythologies may differ slightly, common elements such as addiction, abandonment, “hillbilly justice,’’ trauma, poverty and a deep appreciation of “home” lace whitewashed perspectives that typically fail to critically consider race, gender, disability, power, oppression or the patchworks of cultures and critters inhabiting our hollers. Combining memoir, creative nonfiction, critical theory, popular culture, legal history and history of place, this autotheoretical thesis serves as a rebuttal to, and indictment of, typical bootstrap mythologies, interrogating systems to disrupt assumed beliefs. Beginning with a Preface and Introduction framing the content and providing personal and theoretical grounding, the work next considers the Blues Highway, a stretch of space connecting Nashville past Memphis deep into the Mississippi Delta. Next, Tobacco Road describes the area of North Carolina around Chapel Hill and Duke, a hotbed of race-related protests from the Civil War era to modern times.
Questioning notions of justice, /ˈpro͞oviNG ˌɡround[s]/ transports its readers to the scenes of the crimes to consider their own complicities and accomplice liabilities, compelling discovery along the ride.