Southern Cultures

Journal covering the history, politics, folklore, art, literature and social structure of the Southern U.S.

Articles from Vol. 8, No. 3, Fall

An Ironic Jim Crow: The Experiences of Two Generations of Southern Black Men. (Southern Voices)
"They did not knuckle under to the institution of slavery or, following that, the institution of Jim Crow-ism," reflected Edwin Caldwell Jr. on evaluating some two hundred years of his family's history in North Carolina. Descended from November Caldwell,...
Charline Arthur: The Unmaking of a Honky-Tonk Star. (Up Beat Down South)
Like most honky-tonk musicians, Charline Arthur came from modest origins. She was born Charline Highsmith in 1929, the daughter of a Pentecostal, relatively poor couple in Henrietta, Texas. Her parents were both amateur musicians, and from an early...
Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect
Retrospect and Prospect Edited by Donald M. Kartiganer and Ann J. Abadie University Press of Mississippi, 2000 299 pp. Paper $24.00 Reading Faulkner at 200, the collection of talks given at the 1997 Yoknapatawpha conference at Ole Miss, is like...
Front Porch
My father's family came from upper South Carolina, not far from Edgefield County, where the legendary demagogue Ben Tillman originated. After the end of Reconstruction, Tillman's violent ranting on behalf of white supremacy and those he called "the...
"God Giveth the Increase": Lurline Stokes Murray's Narrative of Farming and Faith. (Not Forgotten)
In 1986, as I began conducting oral histories with older southern farmers about changes in rural life, I asked an agricultural extension agent in Florence, South Carolina, to recommend some likely narrators. He was eager to help, but his first list...
Paradox in Paradise. (Essay)
I was born in Yazoo City at the edge of the Mississippi Delta in 1956, the year Elvis Presley made his television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show but was shown only from the waist up. My father was in the service, and I moved from city to city as...
Racial Violence, "Primitive" Music, and the Blues Entrepreneur: W. C. Handy's Mississippi Problem. (Essay)
Composer of the best-selling "Memphis Blues" and "St. Louis Blues," author of an autobiography titled Father of the Blues (1941), W. C. Handy (1873-1958) has a curious place in the history of American blues music. He was not, after all, a bluesman;...
Robert F. Williams and the Promise of Southern Biography. (Essay)
I come from a family of preachers, teachers, and farmers, not academics, and most members of my extended clan don't seem to have any clear sense of what a college professor actually does on, say, Tuesdays. Don't worry. I'm not about to spill the beans....
Struggling with Robert E. Lee. (Essay)
In a recent essay on Anton Chekhov published in The New Yorker, Janet Malcolm asserted that "the letters and journals we leave behind and the impressions we have made on our contemporaries are the mere husk of the kernel of our essential life. When...
Youngest Living Carpetbagger Tells All: Or, How Regional Myopia Created "Pitchfork Ben" Tillman. (Essay)
It won't shock readers of Southern Cultures to learn that when northerners begin to study the South, they bring along what we'll just agree to call misconceptions. I know this firsthand because I remember a few choice and painful moments in my own...