Front Porch: Inside/Outside

Ben Alper, from the series “Background Noise.”

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Front Porch: Inside/Outside

by Marcie Cohen Ferris
Southern Cultures, Vol. 25, No. 2: Inside/Outside

"The South has much to teach about the dangers and opportunities of belonging and exclusion, of being inside and outside the American experience."

In 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 local 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.