Front Porch: Winter 1995

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Front Porch: Winter 1995

by John Shelton Reed, Harry L.Watson
Southern Cultures, Vol. 1, No. 2: Winter 1995

"There's plenty of cultural diversity in the American South, and you can always get a friendly argument started by trying to pronounce on who or what lies at the center of the southern cultural experience."

There’s plenty of cultural diversity in the American South, and you can always get a friendly argument started by trying to pronounce on who or what lies at the center of the southern cultural experience. Planter gentry and their descendants have their champions, of course, and there are also plenty of reasons to view black southerners as the ultimate source of what is most distinctively southern. Almost everyone will agree, however, that somewhere close to the middle of things has been the life of ordinary white folks, neither masters nor slaves, who have populated southern farms, mills, and cabins since the earliest European settlements, as well as trailer parks and shopping malls of the present day.

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