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Vol. 13, No. 4: Global South (2007)

  //  winter 2007

The South goes global! Southern industries, ideas, and ways of life spread around the planet, while the rest of the world comes to our backyard. Barbecue smuggles itself into the South long before the first Confederate map. Big Tobacco takes the South to China. There’s an old sport in town that’s now for locals, yokels, and new arrivals—cockfighting. New southerners immigrate from around the globe to make the South their home, and one of the South’s foremost restaurateurs even stocks his chef staff with immigrants who cook up the best southern specialties.

Table of Contents

Front Porch: Winter 2007

by Harry L. Watson
“The changes of recent decades have now brought America’s most isolated region into closer contact with global influences than at any time in memory.” The American South has depended on foreign contacts for centuries, ever since Jamestown started down Tobacco Road. From the earliest colonial days, foreign exports propped up the southern economy, as rice, »

To Know Tobacco: Southern Identity in China in the Jim Crow Era

by Nan Enstad
“Many southerners from rural areas did not yet have electricity or indoor plumbing in the early twentieth century. In Shanghai they encountered more modern amenities and an elaborate public nightlife, full of perfect strangers.” Go to one of the tobacco areas in North Carolina or Virginia today and you will still find a large number »

Your Dekalb Farmers Market: Food and Ethnicity in Atlanta

by Tore C. Olssen
“While the culinary atmosphere of 1977 Atlanta may have remained ‘traditional,’ the city itself was hardly reminiscent of the romantic world Margaret Mitchell depicted in Gone with the Wind.” In the summer of 1977, Robert Blazer opened a local farmers market in Decatur, Georgia, only a few miles from the heart of downtown Atlanta. The »

Bill Smith: Taking the Heat — and Dishing It Out — in a Nuevo New South Kitchen

by Lisa Eveleigh, Bill Smith
“The Mexican guys said, ‘Let me do it, let me do it!’ and they were peerless.” Bill Smith is an innovative, southern-cuisine chef famous for creating such unexpected culinary juxtapositions as honeysuckle sorbet—hot summer in a cool bite. The dessert’s main ingredient really is the flower, thousands of them, all gathered by hand. His peculiarly »

Of Chickens and Men: Cockfighting and Equality in the South

by Marko Maunula
“At the referee’s signal, the handlers let their roosters go, and the birds, as if filled with sacred rage, assault each other in a hurricane of feathers, beaks, glittering spurs, and flapping wings.” “Hundred on the black cock! Hundred on the black cock!” “Fifty-forty on the red!” “Fifty-forty, red! You and me, okay?” Two handlers »

The Institute and the Factory: Business Leadership and Change in the Global South

by John Russell
“We can’t lead this world for long by making people afraid. It simply is impossible to succeed while being afraid.” Business leaders and change has been an enduring theme since the proclaimed origin of the New South, now well over a century ago. Perhaps the global part is new, though the folks who work at »

“In My Heart, I’m an American”: Regional Attitudes and American Identity

by Larry J. Griffin, Katherine McFarland
“No other country has become home to so many immigrants, and to so many different kinds of immigrants.” As the essays in this issue of Southern Cultures confirm, it is now old news to point to the changing demographic face of the South. We all know that immigration is transforming the region, that newcomers—new southerners, to be »

There’s a Word for It — The Origins of “Barbecue”

by John Shelton Reed
“For all that southerners have made barbecue our own, the fact remains that this symbol of the South, like kudzu, is an import.” What could be more southern than barbecue? Even when entrepreneurs have taken the dish to other parts of the world, the names of their establishments pay tribute to the origins of their »
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