An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
Posted on August 2, 2012
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Louis Fagnan, Emory University

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In this short interview, historian Joseph Crespino discusses his new book, Strom Thurmond's America (New York: Hill and Wang, 2012), a political biography of South Carolina politician Strom Thurmond. Crespino explains how his book challenges the traditional view of Strom Thurmond's politics. He also argues that Thurmond became an "establishment Republican" in the 1980s, and his moderate stance would probably lead him to be run-out of the current Republican Party. Finally, Crespino addresses the controversial topic of Thurmond's African American daughter.

Emory University, Expert Conversations on Strom Thurmond, 2012.
Posted on July 31, 2012
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Allen Tullos, Emory University

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Thelma Glass.

Thelma McWilliams Glass died on July 24, 2012 at age ninety-six. She was the last surviving member of the Women’s Political Council (WPC), a group of African American women in Montgomery, Alabama, who helped organize the 1955–56 bus boycott. Glass taught geography at Alabama State University from the late 1940s until she retired in 1981.

For more about Thelma Glass, read the biographical sketch in the Montgomery Advertiser by Erica Pippins. See David J. Garrow, "The Origins of the Montgomery Bus Boycott," Southern Changes 7, no. 5 (1985), for an overview of the WPC’s role in the boycott, a key event in the modern civil rights movement.

Posted on July 26, 2012
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Chuck Simmins, Photographer

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Chuck Simmins, Louisiana National Guardmen observe as water from the industrial canal overtops the levees, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2008.
The Louisiana National Guard set up a road block in the Upper Ninth Ward during Hurricane Gustav, September 1, 2008. In this photograph, two Guardsmen located on the Claiborne Avenue Bridge observe as water from the industrial canal overtops the levees and pours onto the city. 
Posted on July 24, 2012
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Alan G. Pike, Emory University

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The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the US South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the US South.

  • Farmers and ranchers across the South, Midwest, and West are struggling to bring their crops to harvest and feed their herds. Texas ranchers sold nearly 36,000 head of cattle last week, triple the number from a few weeks ago. The Arkansas River Basin has been hit especially hard, which is evident in this map depicting drought severity across the country, with almost all of Arkansas in severe or extreme drought. Another set of annual drought maps, from the New York Times, demonstrates the extent of drought across the country since the 1890s.

    According to a recent report issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the scorching summer of 2012 has brought record temperatures and the worst drought in the continental United States since the 1950s. NOAA's report and a study they completed with a similar agency in the United Kingdom suggest that rising global temperatures may have contributed to the increased frequency of droughts in the last few years.

    Environmentalist Bill McKibben recently penned an essay in the magazine Rolling Stone which details the ways in which carbon emissions contribute to rising global temperatures. McKibben highlights the "terrifying new math" which reveals how serious the global warming crisis is and how the international community can address it.

Posted on July 19, 2012
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Katie Rawson, Emory University

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Documentary filmmaker George Stoney, 1916-2012.

Documentary filmmaker George Stoney, 96, died this week. His films include The Uprising of '34 (1995), about a large and violent strike in the southern textile industry in 1934, and All My Babies (1952), about Georgia midwife Mary Coley. All My Babies was selected for the National Film Registry in 2002. Stoney was also an advocate for and creator of public-access television, a teacher at New York University, and a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

He was remembered in the New York Times, the Village Voice, and by Tom Rankin at the Center for Documentary Studies. Adding to these accounts, below are links to the work and voice of Stoney himself—a discussion of making The Uprising of '34 and a discussion and streaming video of All My Babies and a 2010 follow-up documentary.

Links to Selected Works by George Stoney
Stoney, George. All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story, 1952. Streaming at SnagFilms.

———. "All My Babies: Research," in Film: Book 1, The Audience and the Filmmaker, ed. Robert Hughes. New York: Grove Press, 1959. Available through Documentary Education Resouces.

———. "Filming The Uprising of '34," Southern Changes 16, no. 3 (1994).

Stoney, George and David Bagnall.A Reunion of All My Babies, 2010. Streaming at SnagFilms.

Posted on July 12, 2012
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Alan G. Pike and Katie Rawson, Emory University; Marion Post Wolcott, Photographer

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In light of our publication of Elizabeth Engelhardt's presentation "Forgotten Locavores: Letters and Literature of Market Bulletins," we decided to publish this series of photographs depicting preparations for a church picnic supper at St. Thomas Catholic Church, taken by Marion Post Wolcott on August 7, 1940 near Bardstown, Kentucky. We first came across the second photograph in the series, where African American and white men are cooking together, and wanted to know more about what was happening in this integrated outdoor kitchen. Looking at the curated series, where the white workers are called "parishoners" and the black workers are unidentified, it appears that the second image likely fits into expected paradigms of race and labor. The photograph of lamb and beef cooking is also a notable representation of local foodways, as barbecuing mutton is distinct to this area of Kentucky. More photographs in this series can be viewed in the Library of Congress's Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection.

Marion Post Wolcott, Poster advertising church picnic near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030987-M4.
Marion Post Wolcott, Poster advertising church picnic near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030987-M4.
Marion Post Wolcott, Cooking a fried supper as a benefit picnic supper which is being given by St. Thomas church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, E 9026.
Marion Post Wolcott, Cooking a fried supper as a benefit picnic supper which is being given by St. Thomas church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection, E 9026.
Marion Post Wolcott, Barbecuing beef and lamb for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas' Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030968-M5.
Marion Post Wolcott, Barbecuing beef and lamb for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas' Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030968-M5.
Marion Post Wolcott, Parishoners peeling potatoes for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas' Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030969-M3.
Marion Post Wolcott, Parishoners peeling potatoes for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas' Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030969-M3
Marion Post Wolcott, Parishoners preparing food for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection,LC-USF33-030983-M5.
Marion Post Wolcott, Parishoners preparing food for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection,LC-USF33-030983-M5.
Marion Post Wolcott, Table in picnic grove set for St. Thomas church supper, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030983-M5.
Marion Post Wolcott, Table in picnic grove set for St. Thomas church supper, near Bardstown, Kentucky, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030983-M5
Posted on July 10, 2012
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Alan G. Pike, Emory University

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The Bulletin compiles news from in and around the US South. We hope these posts will provide space for lively discussion and debate regarding issues of importance to those living in and intellectually engaging with the US South.

  • In the wake of the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Affordable Care Act, we found this helpful map from the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, which shows all of the legal filings, decisions, and news in every state relating to the act. The map demonstrates how arguments over the constitutionality of the healthcare law varies across place.  
  • The McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas recently won a 2012 Library Interior Design Award from the International Interior Design Association for their 123,000 square-foot library which was built inside an old Wal-Mart Store. View a photographic tour of this repurposed facility. Atlanta University Center's Robert W. Woodruff Library Learning Commons also received an award in the competition. 
  • A joint investigation by National Public Radio and the Center for Public Integrity released in two parts (part one yesterday and part two today) this week suggests that federal rgulators have failed to protect coal miners in eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia from breathing excessive amounts of toxic coal dust over the last thirty years. In the affected region, cases of the worst stage of "black lung" disease have quadrupled since 1980. The report featured photographs from Earl Dotter's "Quiet Sickness" series documenting coal miners from the 1960s and 1970s. See Dotter's 2008 Southern Spaces piece "Coalfield Generations: Health, Mining, and the Environment," in which he revisits and photographs some of the same towns featured in the "Quiet Sickness" series and discusses contemporary coal mining practices and healthcare.