“The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett

by Glenn on March 3, 2020

Someone asked me if I had a favorite collection of short stories and I had to admit I was not much of a short story person. But I did tell them I have a favorite short story, “The Appropriation of Cultures” by Percival Everett. A quick search found it online. It can be heard below and read here.

I remember driving home from work years ago when this came on Oregon Public Radio. I was floored by how affecting it was. The story is a based on a context that I don’t understand very well. I’m a West coast kid and  dynamics of the South are hard to understand. Additionally, symbols of the antebellum South, like “Dixie” and the Confederate flag, which make appearances in this story, don’t have strong emotions tied to them. The genius of this story is how quickly I empathize with the protagonist.

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