In May, Dolly Parton returned from promoting her new album, Blue Smoke, to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, for the celebration she hosts every year: the Dollywood Homecoming Parade. Thousands gathered along the stretch of U.S. Route 441 known as Dolly Parton Parkway, from stoplight number six to stoplight number three. The devoted sat in strategically placed lawn chairs; the less eager watched from roadside hotel balconies. My boyfriend and I stood in the median of the parkway, opposite a spiraling bumper-car attraction, and watched as the first few floats passed: veterans, students, and an official contingent from the City of Pigeon Forge. A marching band played “9 to 5” and then [...]
White Conservatives On Supreme Court Wondering Whether We Need Laws That Allow Black People To Vote For Democrats
It's tough to keep black people in the South from voting when there are intrusive federal laws trying to let black people vote. Have we learned nothing from the blockbuster motion picture Lincoln? Yes, we have learned nothing, and also the Democrats appear to be on some kind of permanent demographic winning streak, say the old white conservatives on the Supreme Court. So it's probably time to put aside these outdated old laws. Why, racism ended a long, long time ago. Especially in the Deep South.
In today's loaded questioning, the four white conservative justices expressed sincere skepticism about the federal law protecting the rights of black voters in [...]
"As its political power declines, the South might occupy a place like Scotland’s in the United Kingdom, as a cultural draw for the rest of the country, with a hint of the theme park."
Anonymous students at Arkansas' Harding University have published this zine about being gay at the conservative Christian school. Their website has been blocked on campus. This is a fascinating development: in previous generations, gay students at such a school would simply have left, or, you know, killed themselves.
If you're a man driving alone on a certain stretch of Archer Avenue on Chicago's South Side, you may see a teenage girl on the side of the road, thumb out, trying to hitch a ride. If you stop for her—which, being a concerned citizen, you'll consider—you'll notice her outfit's a bit dated: a white formal dress and the kind of dancing shoes you might find in the back of your grandma's closet. There's something a little bit off about her, but you can't quite place what it is.
She'll say her name is Mary and she'll ask for a ride home, just up the road. When you approach [...]
Abraham Lincoln is the biggest action hero in Hollywood these days, with his character starring in such recent blockbusters as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the Steven Spielberg movie about Lincoln's quieter side, and probably Django Unchained. As so often happens when a film captures the heart of America, a neurobiology professor at the University of Mississippi saw Lincoln and wondered if slavery was still allowed where he lives and works.
Dr. Ranjan Batra immigrated to the United States from India and became a U.S. citizen four years ago. With the zeal typical of the new citizen, Batra asked somebody to look on a website, which led to the discovery that [...]
From left to right: Miss Grandma's Backyard (Potato Salad Egg with Apricot Fizz); Mademoiselle Alsace-Lorraine (Creamy, Lemony Egg with Reisling-Plum-Rosemary Punch); Miss Soul Custardy (Vanilla Custard and Chocolate Egg in Phyllo with Peach-Cayenne Coffee Frappe); Senorita El Trionfo de la Revolucion (Chicken Liver and Havana Club Egg served with Barbadian Rum); Miss Piggie (Egg with Jowl, Side and Belly Bacon served with Mint Julep); Jury Award Winner: Miss Spicy German (Red Curry, Sweet Chili, and Spicy Chili Eggs with Home Brewed Double Wheat Ale).
There's no activity that can't be improved with a little competition. Down South, where I live, sporting activities are eschewed all summer. Instead we [...]
Sometimes, when I am eminently bored, I like to scour the New York Times archives for racial slurs. This weekend, hungover and manageably nauseous in a trendy Silver Lake coffee shop, the search term was "nigger," and I came across my greatest find yet: "'Nigger Day' In a Country Town."
"Nigger Day" was originally published on November 30, 1874, nine years after the end of the Civil War, and the reporter's name is listed only as "Our Own Correspondent." In circa 4,000 words, the article depicts the pastoral charm of a day in Huntsville, Alabama, right in the middle of Reconstruction, when black sharecroppers would come in from [...]
After many decades of winning the war on death, American women are now losing their lifespan gains over men. Especially in the Deep South and in rural counties, American women in their early 70s are now dropping off at a terrifying rate—70 should be long enough for anyone, but a girl child born today has an expected lifespan of 81 years, while boy children born today have the male disadvantage of a 76-year lifespan.
The question is why women are losing this advantage, if living longer can even be considered an advantage, especially in the Deep South or America's Heartland or the rural Western states.
According to Fox [...]
Fried chicken, ham, bacon, "sweet tea" and huge store-bought cakes are the five major food groups of the Southern United States, and there are apparently some health consequences to eating nothing but fat, lard, corn syrup and factory slaughtered antibiotic-filled pigs and chickens.
People who ate Southern food six times a week had a 41% higher risk of stroke, compared with people who ate such food once a month. And, the study found, a traditional Southern diet accounted for 63% of the higher risk of stroke among African Americans, compared with white Americans.
The study followed 20,000 white and black Americans who enjoy the "traditional Southern diet" of "fried [...]
Thanks to the college basketball championships, in which both Richmond, Virginia-based teams (Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond) performed admirably, we had cause to ponder, "Not sure why people are so into Richmond, Virginia." That's a reasonable question! Richmond is a mostly busted-ass city on the banks of the James River that's played host to such luminaries as George Allen, and also George Allen's wife—what's her name, the one who married George Allen. It's best known as the capital of the Confederacy, and, as many of the old-school Richmondites—by which I mean the "racist" ones—will probably tell you, that's basically where the city peaked.
You Yankees don't know shit about dressing.
It's why, as a Southerner with a father from Macon, Georgia and a mother from the bowels of New Jersey, I have never been to Jersey for Thanksgiving. It's why, no matter how many other Thanksgiving dinners my parents and I have had to suffer through, my dad would still get in the kitchen at some point over the holiday break and cook up an amazing gut-busting meal with collard greens, sweet potato casserole (topped with pecans, not marshmallows, duh), cornbread dressing, cornbread on the side and cornbread for dessert. Yes. Cornbread. For dessert.