From The Bitter Southerner: Dixie Is Dead
The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
You might think the word bulldozer came from a brand, like Biro and Hoover. Perhaps it refers to some agricultural practice using bulls to move stuff around? The reality is far more chilling - and to find it, you have to look back to the US in 1876 and what "historians suggest may have been the most hard-fought, corrupt and rigged election in the history of the Union".
Earth's Magnetic Field May Be About to Flip [summary] - "Earth's last magnetic reversal took place 786,000 years ago and happened very quickly, in less than 100 years -- roughly a human lifetime. The rapid flip, much faster than the thousands of years most geologists thought, comes as new measurements show the planet's magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal and could drop to zero in a few thousand years." (via)
The Shack Up Inn is a hospitality institution just outside of historic Clarksdale, Mississippi. Their FAQ page helpfully provides information regarding any questions you might have about amenities, bedding quality, or Didelphimorphia reproduction.
The Death of the Southern White Democrat Hurts African-Americans the Most (previously) while the South’s Republicans Look a Lot Like Its 1970s Democrats
Southern Gothic: Hunting for the peculiar soul of Georgia
Food is life. It unites us all. Here at Global Voices, we love food, so we bring you eight yummy food blogs from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
Dr. Jason Hickel, LSE lecturer who was born and brought up in Swaziland, writes on Transparency International's latest Corruption Perception Index and its eyecatching global map. Here's a tiny snippet to encourage you to read the rest of the article on Al Jazeera:
Many international development organisations hold that persistent poverty in the Global South is caused largely by corruption among local public officials. In 2003 these concerns led to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which asserts that, while corruption exists in all countries, this "evil phenomenon" is "most destructive" in the global South, where it is a "key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development". There's only one problem with this theory: It's just not true.[more inside]
"Here’s what was off-limits, according to many of the people I grew up with: books about witchcraft, the writings of Anton LaVey, Ouija boards, New Age crystals, pentagrams, albums with backward masking, and the music of most heavy-metal bands. ... Yet here’s what was okay to enjoy, according to those same chums and acquaintances: The Omen. The Amityville Horror. Rosemary’s Baby. The Exorcist. These movies passed muster because they didn’t encourage people to dabble in the dark arts; they warned people." The Exorcist And The South's Love Of Devil Movies.
The New(er) South, a 2013 essay by Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers reexamines the questions and contradictions of the American south originally explored in their 2001 album Southern Rock Opera. [more inside]
"In the past inequality in South Africa was largely defined along race lines. It has become increasingly defined by inequality within population groups as the gap between rich and poor within each group has increased substantially." Is this what's led the BBC to report a growing sense of insecurity among poor (chiefly Afrikaans-speaking) whites? Or are they just blatantly misreading the statistics? [more inside]
Graveyard of the Peaches An Army Ranger and Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations draws up a battle plan in light of Georgia's plan to attempt to claim part of Tennessee, in order to get access to vital water from the Tennessee River and undo a 1818 surveying error.
The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.Christine Baumgarthuber is a writer for The New Inquiry and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen. [more inside]
Pig Roast. Fish Fry. Camping with the Bluesmobile. T-Model Ford’s Shade Tree. The undying Southern charm that is, Junior’s Juke Joint.
"When the lights go out for good, my people will still be here. We have our ancient ways. We will remain."
In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
You're about to be the base doctor at Halley Research Station in Antarctica for a year. For ten months, no one gets in or out. Fourteen lives are in your hands, including your own. What do you put in your medical kit? And how do your choices differ from those of your predecessors (Eric Marshall and Edward Wilson) a century ago?
"From the beginning of this present phase of the race problem in the South, I have been on record as opposing the forces in my native country which would keep the condition out of which this present evil and trouble has grown. Now I must go on record as opposing the forces outside the South which would use legal or police compulsion to eradicate that evil overnight. I was against compulsory segregation. I am just as strongly against compulsory integration."
"A Letter to the North," William Faulkner, LIFE Magazine, March 5th, 1956.
"A Letter to the North," William Faulkner, LIFE Magazine, March 5th, 1956.
Southern Values Revived: How Our Elites Have Become Worse "It’s been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don’t know is that they’re also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are. Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now." [more inside]
The Spear, a painting by South African artist Brett Murray is causing quite a stir. The painting is the subject of an attempted ban by the South African president, Jacob Zuma, according to the article and a general accusation of racism by the ANC leadership which has led at least one interesting response in the blogosphere.
A wave of powerful storm cells swept the southeastern United States this week, spawning hundreds of tornadoes that wreaked havoc from Texas to Virginia. While damage was widespread throughout the region, the most terrible toll was seen in Alabama, which has accounted for two-thirds of the more than 300 reported deaths -- the deadliest since the Great Depression -- and where many small towns were simply wiped from the map. Especially hard-hit was the university town of Tuscaloosa, the state's fifth-largest, where a monstrous F5 tornado (seen in this terrifying firsthand video) tore a vicious track through entire neighborhoods and business districts -- narrowly missing the region's primary hospital -- and continuing a path that rained debris as far as Birmingham, over sixty miles away. The disaster prompted a visit from President Obama today, who declared "I've never seen devastation like this" after surveying the area with Governor Robert Bentley, Senator Richard Shelby, and Mayor Walter Maddox. More: photos from In Focus and The Big Picture, aerial footage of the aftermath, "before and after" sliders, the path of the Tuscaloosa twister on Google Maps, People Locator, local aid information, MetaTalk check-in thread
Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
Despite the recent outrage over Congressional attempts to "redefine rape" for the purpose of abortion funding, South Dakota's legislature has stepped the controversy up even further: a party-line panel has sent to the floor for a full vote HB 1171 - "An Act to expand the definition of justifiable homicide to provide for the protection of certain unborn children." Mother Jones considers the legal potential: "This could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions."
Last February work was completed on the South Pole Station. Curious how all that material gets to the bottom of the world? Not enough time to sit through YouTube goodness? Catch up on the latest research or just get a dose of cuteness. (my first post here...go easy on me!)
Gay parents find the south more welcoming. The south gets a bad rep. Organizations like Southerners On New Ground are doing incredible grassroots work that is changing that.
Soviet Russia American South, wild goose chases YOU. (SLYT)
Vuvuzela time! View any web site like you're at the South Africa World Cup!
Secretive Scholars of the Old South. The Abbeville Institute is a scholarly society that seeks to promote a "distinctly Southern interpretation of American history and identity ... a valuable intellectual and spiritual resource for exposing and correcting the errors of American modernity." Founded in 2003 by Donald Livingston, philosophy professor at Emory University, the Institute will hold its 8th annual conference, "State Nullification, Secession, and the Human Scale of Political Order" next February.
AP article about the chant "The South will Rise Again." In the past few years University of Mississippi officials have done away with both the waving of the Confederate Battle Flag at football games and Colonel Reb, the school mascot who resembles a white plantation owner. However, the school band, nicknamed "The Pride of the South," still plays "From Dixie with Love" at each game and the students still shout "The South will Rise Again" at the end of the song. The AP has a nice article on recent efforts by both the student government and the new school Chancellor, Dan Jones, to end this "tradition."
Slugburgers, hamburgers in which the meat has been supplemented with bread, meal, or crackers for filler, come from a triangular region that cuts across northern Alabama, northern Mississippi, and southern Tennessee and roughly corresponds with the Tennessee Valley. They're called slugburgers in Moulton, Alabama; Decatur, Alabama; and Corinth, Mississippi; doughburgers in Tupelo, Mississippi; and breadburgers in Cullman, Alabama. This regional take on the hamburger became popular during the Great Depression, when the price of meat made it necessary to use fillers to extend supply. Though the exact origin of the term is disputed, it is most commonly held that Slugburgers got their name from the coin used to pay for them: when each burger cost 5¢, you could pay for one with a nickel which was then also called a slug. Corinth, Mississippi, has held an annual Slugburger Festival since 1988. Take a photographic tour of the Slugburger Trail. [more inside]
55 years ago, Brown v. Board of Education was decided, which lead to the controversial court-ordered school integrations in the South. Four years later, the prolific Charles Beaumont wrote his only solo novel, The Intruder, based on a true story but set in a fictitious small southern town of Caxton that is riled up by a mysterious man from out-of-town who wants to halt the school integration. The novel was turned into a movie by the same name in 1962, produced, directed and financed by Roger Corman, starring a charismatic William Shatner as the mysterious intruder, some 4 years before the start of his iconic role in Star Trek. Shot on location, using locals who were not fully aware of the plot of the movie, the whole film was made for $80-$90,000, and was Corman's only film to lose money at the box offices. The production was banned in some Missouri cities because the local people objected to the film's portrayal racism and segregation. The film finally saw a profit after its re-release on DVD in recent years. (Previously discussed as part of this 1970s Shatner post; video links inside) [more inside]
Desperate Man Blues Edward Gillen's documentary about Joe Bussard, renowned collector of 25,000+ blues, folk and gospel 78rpm records from the 20s and 30s. It's about the hunt and the hunter, as much as what he found. One week only on Pitchfork TV [more inside]
Australian Duncan Chessell (autoloading video) plans to spend four months trekking across Antarctica's frozen wasteland to reach the South Pole. Currently, he's leading a team of seven to the peak of Mt Vinson, Antarctica's highest point. He intends to make his trip to the pole 100 years after a similar feat was attempted by the great British explorer Robert Falcon Scott (previously). Meanwhile, another team aims to "become the youngest, fastest team in the world to reach the South Pole unsupported and unguided."
According to political scientist Wayne Parent, “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.” Are we finally seeing the end of Nixon's infamous Southern Strategy? For years Republicans have depended on the region to win elections. Some now argue that the G.O.P. has "transformed itself from the Party of Lincoln into the Party of the Old Confederacy." In any case, playing to racism and resentment [PDF] isn't as effective as it used to be. Furthermore, many Republicans have publicly disowned such tactics.
Transcripts of a troubled mind tells the life and times of Breece D'J Pancake, a brilliant young writer from South Charleston, West Virginia. In a raw, stripped down style, much of his work focused on the people and the language of the Appalachia He committed suicide at the age of 29 and left behind a small, but powerful collection of stories
Savita Bhabhi is India's First Virtual Pornstar (NSFW). A sexy, buxom, and lusty almond-eyed femme fatale, Savita, bearing the title 'bhabhi' which means 'sister-in-law' indicating that she's married, is the quintessential Indian male porn fantasy 'toon. Launched in March this year, the web site has proven to be a hit, incorporating South Asian themes such as sleeping with the servant boy; with a cousin; and, of course, the boys playing cricket next door.
Jerry Clower (Wikipedia article) started telling his funny stories to boost sales when he was a seed and fertilizer salesman. He went on to become a successful comedian and Grand Ole Opry star. [more inside]
The black backs by and on which the fortunes of the New South were built:
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”... Cottenham’s offense was blackness.... [After a brief trial] Cottenham... was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North — U.S. Steel Corporation — the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence.... he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners.... Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.— from the Introduction to Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II. The book's website includes reviews of the book, an excerpt of the Introduction, and an extensive photo gallery that includes disturbing images of enslaved and tortured prisoners. [more inside]
The Southern Foodways Alliance is one weighed-down church-supper table, full of oral history/blog projects like The Tamale Trail, the Boudin Trail, interviews and recipes from the Bartenders of New Orleans, photo essay/interviews from Birmingham's Greek-Americans, a mess o'homemade films, and a passel of event and BBQ-shack photos on Flickr, all smothered in the tangy-sweet academic goodness of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at Ole Miss. These folks get my vote for most flavorful, funkiest food-loving folklorists in the lower forty-eight. [more inside]
Scientists at Amundsen-Scott Station at the South Pole have begun searching for the elusive dark matter using the South Pole Telescope. [more inside]
Jewelers, engine parts manufacturers, and most of all, investors are watching as platinum hits an all time high, topping $1800 per ounce. An electic supply crisis in South Africa is to blame/thank for this unprecedented rise as mines are facing limits to the amount of electricity they can use. A mining analyst said it could eventually top $2000/oz.
Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica UK and US researchers peice together the most detailed map of Antarctica yet, searching through years of data to find cloud free images.
A day in the life of Abdullah Ibrahim, South-African composer and performer who creates hypnotic and softly singing grooves. To me, his recent piano trios are the highlights of his work, because they are both swinging and soulful. But his compositions do not sound bad in a big band setting -(or in an arrangement for guitar). His music is quiet and meditative but powerful, and has sometimes been used as a banner for freedom and equality. Now he likes to withdraw once in a while to the smallest scenes (french commentary with some english underneath), putting strong emphasis on necessary simplicity. Written portrait.
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