Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What makes Us Southern?

This is the official (Wikipedia) map of the Southern states!

Those in red are the South! Those in candy-cane stripe are semi-South. Do you agree?

This was my definition as a child growing up in Tennessee. The South was any state south of the Mason-Dixon line, and east of the Mississippi River.

Others define the South as any state that took part in the War Between the States as Confederates. I have always thought Kentucky a part of the South, but I've heard rumblings from some of you. I nevah considered Texas a part of the South, and I bet many of you agree. This is crazy, but the Modern South also includes Oklahoma!

This is why I don't think Mark Twain's all that Southern and rather more Midwestern. He was born in Missouri, grew up in Missouri, and spent his fame in Connecticut. Hey, but he is the Father of Southern Literature?!? What about all that time spent paddle-wheeling up-n-down the Mississippi River?!? I give him the Southern title as an honorarium.

What do you think? Leave a comment...

5 comments:

queenbee said...

Having lived in OKC for five years, I would not consider it part of the south, heck it wasn't even a state until 1907. Old, modern...it just doesn't fit.

____Maggie said...

I lived in OakCity for approx. 1.5 yrs, off and on while at the FAA, and it just doesn't fit the profile. Plenty of heat and wind, but it is missing humidity. We used to have a joke. Why doen't Texas fall into the Gulf? 'Cos Oklahoma sucks! ;D

jezebelsk said...

I think maybe the south is all a matter of mind. I grew up in Southern Illinois - most would not consider Illinois even close to being Southern. However, most Southern Illinoisans trace their ancestry back to Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, etc. Strangely, the accents and behaviors are similar to more southern states as well. My mom's family is all from that area, my dad's family is from Louisiana. Anyhow, I tell people I am a Southern girl, I feel the tie to my family's history. My geography might not be Southern, but my heart sure is!

Susie said...

I have NEVER thought Mark Twain was the real southern deal.I do have fond memories of Tom Sawyer, though. The south is an odd little bird as a whole. Take Mississippi, for example. Outsiders would lump us all into one big thing but we residents know full well that a Delta girl is different from a hills girl who is CERTAINLY different from a coast girl who varies greatly from a Jackson girl. I know this because I've moved around so much..HA!So many nuances, so many accents.Then you have to divide us by "raised in the country, raised in town or raised in the city", there's also "raised middle class,raised with delta money, raised with old money, raised with new money, raised with no money" and living in Mississippi ensures that, eventually, all of the above will be discovered about you. We are great preservers of family stories and,through that,"all will be revealed".

Felicia said...

I happened upon your blog and have often felt the same way concerning what is concidered the south. I have also been a part of many debates on the subject. I live in MS but Louisiana is home. Because of the debates we've decided that there is the South and the Deep South, this seems to satisfy everyone:)