Ben Alper, from the series “Background Noise.” // Summer 2019 Inside/Outside • 1 N WHICH I OUT MYSELF as a southern outsider/insider. Raised a Jewish southerner, I am married to an agnostic folklorist from Mississippi with whom I share progressive politics. My household supports small-scale farms and Ilocal food producers and makers in our region. I fear that industrial agriculture—and its historical ties to the plantocracy—is detrimental to the well-being of thousands of southerners (human and animal) and the environment. I recognize the daily impacts of climate change on our state, most dramatically seen in the devastating flooding and economic damage caused by Hurricane Florence in fall 2018. I feel a growing cynicism about the moral core of public institutions in our region, and am angered by racial terrorism that allegedly honors the memory of the Confederacy and denigrates African American experience and history. From confrontations over monuments in civic spaces to white elected ocials an ffi d former fraternity brothers confronting past sins when newly uncovered college yearbooks reveal photographs of their younger selves donning blackface and spoong l fi ynching in college antics, a historical reckoning is needed. In these clashes over historical memory, and given public
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jul 10, 2019
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