Singing for a White ‘City upon a Hill’: White Power Music and the Myth of Regeneration Through Violence


  • Axelle Germanaz FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg



White Supremacy, White Power Movement, Music, Myth, Violence, Identity


This article examines how the discursive construction of white power identities draws on US American hegemonic narratives and foundational myths. In particular, I analyze the myths at play in the music produced and promoted between the 1990s and 2010s by some members of the American white power movement. Basing my argument on Richard Slotkin’s conceptualization of the myth of regeneration through violence, I observe in white supremacist lyrics the recurring construction of the white power activist as a captive (or oppressed victim) who is turned into a hunter (or ‘racial warrior’), and regenerated after a ‘racial war.’ This analysis of white power lyrics provides insight into not only how the white power discourse legitimizes violence but also how it celebrates it.

Author Biography

Axelle Germanaz, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Axelle Germanaz received her B.A. in Foreign and Regional Languages, Literatures and Civilizations from the University of Reunion Island (France), and her M.A in American Studies from Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU) with a thesis entitled “Soundtrack for the Invisible Empire: Visions of America in White Power Music.” Since 2018, she is a doctoral researcher at the chair of American Studies at FAU. Her research interests include theories of race and racism, white supremacy and political extremism, as well as mythology, ideology, and discourse analysis.




How to Cite

Germanaz, Axelle. “Singing for a White ‘City Upon a Hill’: White Power Music and the Myth of Regeneration Through Violence”. Current Objectives of Postgraduate American Studies, vol. 20, no. 2, June 2020, pp. 34-54, doi:10.5283/copas.319.