Category: the old south

“The Plantation System in Southern Life” and Plantation Tourism

In his documentary, Lillian Smith: Breaking the Silence, Hal Jacobs uses numerous historical clips. One that stood out to me, though, was a clip, which he showed three sections of, from a ten minute Coronet film entitled “The Plantation System in Southern Life” from 1950. The film presents the South as an idyllic destination, one full of nostalgia and agrarianism, a soothing balm against … Read More “The Plantation System in Southern Life” and Plantation Tourism

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The Same Old Same Old: Rogue and Representations of the South

Chris Claremont and Michael Golden created Rogue in 1981, and she made her debut in Avengers Annual #10. What makes Rogue interesting to me is her place of origin, the fictional Caldecott County in Mississippi. Speaking with the Clarion Ledger in 2016, Claremont told Jacob Threadgill, “I felt, why should Louisiana get all the fun? … (Mississippi) was a place where the racial divisions … Read More The Same Old Same Old: Rogue and Representations of the South

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Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

In its review (above) of Frank Yerby's Benton's Row (1954), Jet Magazine mentions the novel's early narrative arc that follows Tom Benton's arrival in the Louisiana community and his relationship with Sarah. The reviewer comments that Tom "is not at all unlike all the other Yerby heroes" and that "in the typical Yerby mold [Tom] emerges as a thoroughgoing rascal, an opportunist who seizes what … Read More Frank Yerby’s Benton’s Row and Southern Womanhood

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What do these “monuments” say about our history?

Last Thursday, I shared a guest post by Jennifer Morrison where she spoke about her own experiences last month at Festival Internationle when a white woman began speaking with her about the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton that stands on the corner of Jefferson Street and Lee Avenue in Lafayette, LA. Her interaction with the woman comes at a time when the city … Read More What do these “monuments” say about our history?

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MLB: the South, the North, and the World

On Monday, Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, who is African American, took to the field at Fenway Park in Boston and fans in the crowd hurled racist slurs at him and one fan even threw a bag of peanuts at him as he stood in the outfield.  The incident sparked outrage throughout the sports community, as it should. I have written about African … Read More MLB: the South, the North, and the World

Stuffed Lion in “Get Out”?

Finally, during its third week in theaters, I saw Get Out (2017). Plenty of people have commented on the film; however, there are two aspects of the film that I have not found anyone discussing: the stuffed lion that sits on the nightstand next to Rose Armitage’s bed and the use of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone”playing over the audience’s first introduction to Chris Washington as … Read More Stuffed Lion in “Get Out”?

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Arna Bontemps’s "Heathen at Home": Benevolence and Resistance

1938 by Carl Van Vechten Last post, I wrote about the lion and its symbolic nature in Arna Bontemps’ “Mr. Kelso’s Lion.” Today, I want to discuss “Heathen at Home,” another story from The Old South (1973). While reading “Heathen at Home,” my mind kept going back to Donna Lee in James Wilcox’s Modern Baptists (1983) and Hunk City (2007). In those novels, Donna … Read More Arna Bontemps’s "Heathen at Home": Benevolence and Resistance