In his seminal work on the South, The Mind of the South, W.J. Cash summarized the vices and virtues of the region we call home: “Proud, brave, honorable by its lights, courteous, personally generous, loyal, swift to act, often too swift, but signally effective, sometimes terrible, in its action — such was the South at its best. And such at its best it remains today, despite the great falling away in some of its virtues. Violence, intolerance, aversion and suspicion toward new ideas, an incapacity for analysis, an inclination to act from feeling rather than from thought, an exaggerated individualism and too narrow concept of social responsibility, attachment to fictions and false values, above all too great attachment to racial values and a tendency to justify cruelty and injustice in the name of those values, sentimentality and a lack of realism — these have been its characteristic vices in the past. And, despite changes for the better, they remain its characteristic vices today.”
Where did these characteristics come from? Why is the South such a unique region in the American landscape? Is the Southern identity in danger as America and the world globalize and homogenize? How do we preserve a sense of Southern pride and identity while also grappling with the legacy of profound suffering this region has wrought?
On March 8th, during another LIVE Southern Wonder show airing at 6:00pm on Charlotte Community Radio, Allison Braden tackles these topics with Dr. Brenda Tindal, staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South. With Dr. Tindal, we’ll explore the history and future of the South and what it means to exist at the intersection of those two today.
In her research, Dr. Tindal has focused on 19th and 20th century U.S. and South African history, visual and material culture, and global social reform movements. She’s also worked on a number of research, archival, and exhibit projects that bring history to a wider audience. Learn more about her in the Charlotte Observer, WFAE, and the Charlotte Post. Follow her on Twitter.
Southern Wonder, hosted by Allison Braden airs LIVE every Wednesday from 6:00pm to 7:00pm, celebrating open-mindedness and the spirit of asking why via CharlotteCommunityRadio.org, CLTCRadio.org or Mixlr.com/CLTCRadio where you can chat with our hosts and guests alike. Keep up with all things Southern Wonder on Twitter and Facebook.
Allison Braden ~ Southern Wonder