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Critical Studies of Southern Place

A Reader


Edited By William M. Reynolds

Critical Studies of Southern Place: A Reader critically investigates and informs the construction of Southernness, Southern identity, and the South past and present. It promotes and expands the notion of a Southern epistemology. Authors from across the South write about such diverse topics as Southern working-class culture; LGBT issues in the South; Southern music; Southern reality television; race and ethnicity in the South; religion in the South; sports in the South; and Southernness. How do these multiple interpretations of popular culture within critical conceptualizations of place enhance our understandings of education? Critical Studies of Southern Place investigates the connections between the critical examination of place-specific culture and its multiple connections with education and pedagogy. This important book fills a significant gap in the scholarly work on the ramifications of place. Readers will be able to center the importance of place in their own scholarship and cultural work as well as be able to think deeply about how Southern place affects us all.
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Chapter Three: Southern Satellite



Southern Satellite


I began my long journey to class consciousness a little after 2 o’clock, July 12, 1977. My Aunt Margret had just called my grandma, my momma’s momma, to tell her that my daddy had been hit by a county trash truck. At the time, I could not have known the identity of the caller or the purpose of the call. I was simply taking advantage of the telephone ring to stand inside my grandma’s refrigerator door and drink Pepsi-Cola straight from the bottle. I remember sizing up how long I had to stand there and drink by the nature of the conversation taking place in the front room. The caller must have asked for her by name because immediately after her initial “hello,” my grandma declared, “This is Miriam,” and I knew right away that I had plenty of time.

July in South Carolina can be hotter than a motherfucker and this particular Tuesday had been all that—not to mention certain and secure in its routiness. Momma and Daddy had left for work well before daylight. My grandpa was out exterminating bugs. My little sister and brother were over at Uncle Ronnie’s until the first shift let out at 5 p.m., and as usual I was left to roam the quarter mile between my house and my grandma’s, which was at the top of the street. My daddy had left a list of chores...

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