Edited By William M. Reynolds
Chapter Twenty-Two: Treasures and Ghosts: In the South, Nothing Is Just Black and White
Treasures and Ghosts: In the South, Nothing Is Just Black and White
SHIRLEY R. STEINBERG
I became somewhat Southernized more than two decades ago when I picked up the edited proofs of a chapter written by Joe Kincheloe, “Willie Morris and the Southern Curriculum: Emancipating the Southern Ghosts” (Kincheloe, 1991). As a new resident of the South, and a Jew, I could not make sense of my new place. Joe and I had just moved in together, and he was determined not only to show me “10,000 shades of Appalachian green,” but also to teach me the South. This chapter was my introduction into understanding Southern place. Consider this essay an ode to the South, Willie Morris, and Joe Lyons Kincheloe, Jr.
Kincheloe’s chapter (Kincheloe, 1991) is an example of his own lyrical, literary, informed style. Joe Kincheloe’s love of the South had always been a contradiction. The ghosts, the horrendous actions of Southerners, were a counterpoint to the New Orleans ladies, the gentle breeze in the Blue Mountains, the raspy, rasty riffs of country musicians, and the accents distinguishable from town to town. Joe loved the South with every fiber of his being, and he hated much of its past. His article spoke to those issues, and celebrated the brilliance of Willie Morris, certainly one of Joe’s favorite authors, and exemplified the genius of Joe’s own words.
If I were asked what I most recall...
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