Southern

Imam Shane Atkinson was raised in Jackson, Mississippi, in a working-class white family.
Courtesy of Shane Atkinson

One of Imam Shane Atkinson’s first face-to-face encounters with Muslims took place while he was working at a tannery in Sturgis, Mississippi.

Graphic for the podcast showing light coming through the wooden slats of a barn
The Bitter Southerner

Chuck Reece was tired of the lingering stereotypes of the South, like debutantes and hillbillies. A few years ago he came across a list of the top 50 bars in the world which did not include a single venue in the American South. The snub jolted him to action and inspired the creation of a website showcasing the region’s best bars and drinks. 

Courtesy of Hal Crowther

Hal Crowther has a fascination with getting people’s stories right, especially after they are gone. It started with the death of his beloved great-grandmother Mary Ann Naylor Crowther. When the 94-year-old passed away, he realized that deceased people are often “defenselessness as others tell their stories and rank their accomplishments.” 

Photo of Edna Lewis smiling
John T. Hill

Edna Lewis changed the perception of Southern food in American culture with her cookbook, “The Taste of Country Cooking” (Knopf/1976). She touted the use of fresh, local ingredients before the farm-to-table movement began. But many people know very little about the chef and cookbook author, despite her many contributions to food culture.

Courtesy SHAN Wallace

A new batch of artists has hunkered down for an experimental, immersive residency in Greensboro's Elsewhere Museum. For the nearly month-long Southern Constellations Fellowship, artists from different generations and backgrounds play, perform and present their work within the walls of Greensboro's thrift store-turned-museum.
 

Tyree Daye
Courtesy of Tyree Daye

 In Tyree Daye’s debut book of poetry, the young author builds on the stories and superstitions of his mother, as well as his own memories of growing up in two small towns in North Carolina: Youngsville and Rolesville. 

a plate full of biscuits
Christina B. Castro/ Flickr Creative Commons

Many have argued that as regional distinctiveness faded away, Southern identity evaporated along with it.

Political science professors Christopher Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts studied it, and found that white and black southerners still have a strong and salient sense of what it means to be Southern.
 

Photo of Sick of Stupid
Sick of Stupid

Comedians Cliff Cash, Tom Simmons and Stewart Huff are tired of seeing ​negative stereotypes plague their Southern identity. The trio of comedians use stand-up to push against these stereotypes and offer different perspectives outside what is seen on shows like "Duck Dynasty." They tackle topics like gay rights, religion and gun control.