Slavery’s legacy broke my family pride.

Katherine E. Byroade, West Hartford, CT. When I was a child, my southern grandmother took great delight in the fact that she was a Jamestown descendant and DAR member and saw her membership in those organizations as part of her legacy to her granddaughters, ensuring our social success. She was matter of fact that the […]

The plantation haunts my gay marriage.

Erik Shawn Frampton, Charlotte, NC. I am the descendant of a line of plantation owners in South Carolina. As a gay man, my upcoming marriage will finally occur on our 20th anniversary together. My larger southern family struggles to see my identity as sacred, just as they struggle still to see minority life as sacred. […]

Showing my black daughter the cabins

Benjamin Baugh, Athens, GA. I am a white man and my daughter is a black girl. One day, I will have to walk with her down into the woods behind the old family farmhouse and show her the place where the short row of cabins once stood, and I’ll have to own that ancestral sin […]

Union troops killed by Slavery Supporters

Larry Morgan, Washington, NC. I have long regarded the Confederate Battle Flag (CBF) as an anachronism for which we Americans have shown remarkable tolerance. It is to the nation’s credit that although Jefferson Davis spent some time in prison, he and his top generals were not summarily executed, as would have happened in most other […]

Northern Mother Southern Father meet middle

Sandra Hart, Brookeland, TX. This is an amazing thing to do. Growing up in the South in a white household with a black cleaning lady I felt there was more to the story. But no one would tell me anything or even answer me truthfully. I felt that Emma on orders from my mom would […]

Not all southern people are racist

Logan Money, Summerville, GA. As southern citizens, we are often accused of being racist, homophobic, and resistant to change. Some are, but not all of us are. Most of my friends are minorities and that includes homo/bisexuals. as a matter of fact, most of the major towns are culturally diverse.


Black, Caribbean-American, human, American, Southern

Britt Stone, Philadelphia, PA. No one ever asked “what” I am. They just assume. They approach me with all sorts of ideas about what food I like, what music I listen to, the books I read, and my favorite movies and tv. They have an opinion of what I should sound like when I speak, […]


Being Black and southern, educated engineer

Kristen Ellerbe, Richmond, VA. Calling me an Oreo or not really black, or basically a white girl means that you define some part of my personality, attitude, preferences, or demeanor as being owned and attributed solely to white people. Is it my intelligence, my sense of style, or how I speak? Is it because I’m […]

Drawl big words. They are surprised.

Roy Turrentine, Normandy, TN. Race is actually just a part of our natural xenophobia. Over the course of being a southerner rooted in agrarian dialects and educated among those from all across the country, I have experienced genuine surprise on the part of some when they realize I can speak with a drawl and still […]

Man not party. Biggest Bigot running.

Robert S. Davis, Hanceville, AL. My southern blue collar father said that he never voted for the party but only for the man. Most of his life he voted for Democrats but in his last years he voted all Republican. He always voted for the biggest bigots running, even if only by party association, Dad […]

Racist relatives “mulatto”. Couldn’t tell them.

Tim Brown, Millington, TN. I grew up in a very large Southern white family of absolutely insufferable racists. While researching our family’s genealogy, a cousin of mine found that the US Census listed many of our not-so-distant ancestors as “mulatto”, a term generally reserved to describe people who were half white and half black. We […]

Traditional environment with non-traditional views.

Amanda Cook Lubbock, TX I’m an international business student at Texas Tech University, living in the second most conservative city in the United States. My views on non traditional gender roles and preferred marital status are ridiculed daily. Clearly I don’t have “southern” values. Texas Tech Student. 2013 OTC Symposium.

Many southern Negroes never learned reading

Ted Hochstadt Falls Church, VA This is approximately what my mother said to me when I asked her why our African-American cleaning woman could not read the word I asked her about from my second grade reader. The conversation with my mother occurred in Brooklyn, NY almost 65 years ago, but I still remember that […]

Too old to play w/colored girlfriend.

Jewel Nies St. Charles, MO I grew up in SE MO, the Bootheel. 20 miles from Arkansas border. Very southern town. My neighborhood bordered a black neighborhood. I had a black friend that I had played with for years. When I was around 9 or 10 my Mother came to me and said the neighborhoods […]


Are both your parents from Cuba?

Barbara Rodriguez, Florence, SC. Yes, they both are Cuban. The look of shock never ceases to amaze me. Is it because I’m blonde and have green eyes…yes! Is it because of where I live…yes! Growing up in New York, everyone I knew could tell me about their heritage. My neighborhood was a perfect melting pot […]

Southern White Male: America’s Most Discriminated

Jenn Jacksonville, FL I believe southern white males are America’s most discriminated against in reality. (I am not a white male.) For example, at my job they are openly promoting people because they are women, black or hispanic. I see many talented white guys get passed up for promotions because management needs the “statistics saying […]

People in majority should experience minority.

Dennis Searcy, AR I know a man, a white man, who is upset lately about the possibility of the Redskins changing their name. He thinks it’s silly for Native Americans to complain about it, that they should feel honored, that he would feel honored if he were in their position. I tried explaining to him […]

“White” doesn’t define me. I’m Cajun.

Charlene Leger LA I grew up on the outskirts of a city that is almost 70% African American, on a family farm that was right next to the farm of a black family. All of us kids, in both families, grew up thinking that we were one family. I was devastated when my elementary school […]

Just now figured out I’m Southern.

Samantha Guess Chattanooga, TN Born in the South, raised in the South – NEVER considered myself “Southern”. But at age 25 – I have found that I AM SOUTHERN and there is no turning back and that’s okay. I am who I am.

Southern white privilege and racial ambivalence.

David Painter Winter Springs, FL I had a black southern Mammy in 1963 (who I adored), graduated from private, elite, lily-white high school in 1981, and welcomed my first niece, who’s mother is black, into the world in 1991. I have benefited from white privilege throughout my life, but most frequently black people bestowed the […]

I unpack my white privilege daily.

Sarah Walton Nashville, TN I descend directly from southern slave-owners and, more recently, racists. My family’s wealth is built on the backs of over a thousand slaves. It is my karmic duty to be a social-justice & race-relations activist; to call for reparations; to march; to force as many friends & family to look through […]