I am a Bitter Southerner

Here’s the thing: I’m still trying to fall in love with the South.

A short time ago, I was dead set on joining the mass exodus of young people who are fleeing the South. My whole life, I operated under the assumption that the South was just a stop along the way. Most people who have grown up here and gotten their degrees take ‘em and run.

And honestly? I don’t blame them for leaving. The South is hard to love. It’s still harder to defend. There’s a tightrope strung between loving the South and acknowledging its many failures, both past and present. That double-edged sword of shame and pride is one that we’re keenly familiar with—you know the one. Teeter to one side, you must have a confederate battle flag or two lying around. Teeter to the other, you’re a de facto Yankee. Go on, git. You probably put sugar on your grits anyway.

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The Space Between

Plantations—the structures—are beautiful. What happened within their walls and on their grounds was an unspeakable evil.

Isn’t this what southerners struggle with on a daily basis? This push-and-pull effect between loving your region, your state, your town… but still knowing that the land you stand on bore witness to the worst atrocities that the human race had to offer. The space between beauty and the profane is where the southern mind rests, and it can respond in two ways. Or so we think.

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