William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Harper Lee and Flannery O’Conner notwithstanding, I confess to this prejudice: I have always thought of the Deep South, from the earliest age I was able to understand it as a place and a culture, as a deeply backward place. It wasn’t a coincidence that white nationalists chose Charlottesville, Virginia, as the place to hold their “Unite the Right” rally, nor is it a coincidence that the the Neo-Confederate movement finds adherents in this region of the United States.
I assume I needn’t belabor the the fact that Americans of African descent have suffered the worst oppression and indignity in the Deep South. For that reason, I include this Cultural Literacy worksheet on the Deep South in this year’s observation of Black History Month. I think if we as a nation are to face our history without delusion, we have to admit that the mentality that used the color of a person’s skin to commodify him or her is alive and well in this country–especially in the Deep South.
If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.