Old South

The old Confederacy got only as far north as Pennsylvania, but its great-grandchildren have captured America’s culture. Joshua Zeitz looks at sports, entertainment, and religion to show how.

About 60 years ago, in July 1942, a 35-year-old coal miner from East Kentucky named Jim Hammittee packed up his belongings and traveled with his wife to Detroit, where he found work in a roller-bearing plant. Read more >>

THE VISITORS WHO COME HERE FOR THE OLYMPICS this summer won’t find Tara. What they will find is a city facing an unusual—and sometimes painful—past with clarity of vision and generosity of spirit.

BORN IN SLAVERY AND RAISED IN ITS PAINFUL AFTERMATH TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL AMERICAN ICONS, SHE HAS BEEN MADE TO ENCOMPASS LOVE AND GUILT AND RIDICULE AND WORSHIP —AND STILL SHE LIVES ON

On Highway 61, just outside of Natchez, Mississippi, stands Mammy’s Cupboard, a thirty-foot-high concrete figure of a black woman. Read more >>

The struggles and torments of a forgotten class in antebellum America: black slaveowners

In the 1640s John Casor was brought from Africa to America, where he toiled as a servant for a Virginia landowner. Read more >>

Deep South states are taking the lead in promoting landmarks of a three-hundred-year heritage of oppression and triumph—and they’re drawing visitors from around the world

Kate is waiting for us by the kitchen garden. Her owner, Benjamin Powell, has warned us that she “often has a case of the grumps,” so we approach her cautiously. Read more >>
“I think one man is just as good as another,” he said, “as long as he’s honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman.” Yet Truman broke with his convictions to make civil rights a concern of the national g Read more >>

Sociologists continue to be vexed by the pathology of urban violence: Why is it so random, so fierce, so easily triggered? One answer may be found in our Southern past.

In the quiet luxury of the historic district, a unique form of house plan—which goes back two hundred years—is a beguiling surprise for a visitor

Charleston is and always will be a small town, the citadel of a “hereditary Nobility,” as its founders willed it to be. In its early days Charleston was a walled city, and in some sense it has continued as such, though the walls long ago vanished. Read more >>

All this Florida boy wanted to do was rejoin his regiment. Instead they drafted him into the Confederate secret service.

A FTER HE WAS MUSTERED out of his beaten army in 1865, Charles Hemming went west to Texas and a highly successful career as a banker. Read more >>

Most surveys of American painting begin in New England in the eighteenth century, move westward to the Rockies in the nineteenth, and return to New York in the twentieth. Now we’ll have to redraw the map .

TAKING STOCK of painting in the South in 1859, a critic for the New Orleans Daily Cresent concluded glumly, “Artist roam the country of the North, turning out pictures by the hundred yearly, but none come to glean t Read more >>

How the mistress of the plantation became a slave

“WE’RE USED to living around ‘em. You Northerners aren’t. You don’t know anything about ‘em.” This is or was the allpurpose utterance of white Southerners about blacks. Read more >>

AN INTERVIEW WITH C. VANN WOODWARD

THE BLACK SLAVE DRIVER

Wise planters of the ante-bellum South never relaxed their search for talent among their slaves. The ambitious, intelligent, and proficient were winnowed out and recruited for positions of trust and responsibility. Read more >>
John Faulkner, like his more famous brother William, was a novelist, but he was also a painter. Read more >>

Was the old South solidly for slavery and secession? An eminent historian disputes a long-cherished view of that region’s history