My Perspective On The Best And The Worst Parts Of The South

My Perspective On The Best And The Worst Parts Of The South

With all the stereotypes that each state is branded with, the one place that seems to have the most polarizing labels and stereotypes is the American South.

deanbl
deanbl
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In the United States of America, there are certain states that have earned a certain reputation for themselves. California is the surfing, hipster, movie star capital of the country. Texas is the center for football fanatics, old-school cowboys, and outrageous amounts of BBQ. And Florida is known for having outrageous news headlines, such as, "Florida man arrested for tossing gator into Wendy's" and "Florida man kidnaps a scientist to make his dog immortal."

With all the stereotypes that each state is branded with, the one place that seems to have the most polarizing labels and stereotypes is the American South. Every state that encompasses the American South has, in some ways, earned and, in other ways, have unfairly been given a bad reputation for a long time. Although each person has their own experiences with what the South has to offer, I am writing this to give my point of view on the way of life in the South.

Of course, there is truth to all the wicked aspects of the South.

After the Civil War ended, the Reconstruction Era South wasn't exactly the most ideal place for black people, or any non-white person, to live in, to say the absolute least. Even though the Union tried to establish a more racially equal region, it ultimately resulted in an even more racially charged place than ever before. With the advancement of Jim Crow laws and the rise of the infamous KKK, the South was a very dangerous place to live.

Even in today's world, the South is wrapped up in an endless amount of social turmoil. From the recent growth of white supremacist groups to the growing outrage over the removal of Confederate statues, Southern states are becoming even more divided between the liberal left and the conservative right than ever before. The news certain paints this area of the world as the same hotbed of racism and bigotry that it was before equal rights became a legal requirement in this country. Even I would say that there are certain parts of the South that most definitely would go today.

Despite the bad, there is a lot of good that comes from the South

I know the phrase "Southern hospitality" may have lost its value to many people in the past several years, but to me the age-old saying still holds true. When people look at the news about all of the hostility that occurs in the South, they immediately perceive it as a problem that applies to every city in every town in the South. I am here to say that that notion is the furthest thing from the truth. Just like any place in the world, there are the bad people that perpetuate that harmful stereotypes, and there are the genuinely good people that try to live beyond the unfair image that others have placed on them.

While trying to figure out what to write for this article, I thought about all that my grandparents experienced while spending their whole lives in the American South. My grandfather was born in raised in Kentucky and my grandmother was raised in Alabama, and they both most certainly have experienced the notorious bigotry of the South. However, both will never stop supporting the belief that people in the South are some of the most genuine people they've come across in their life. People that I have met the South, both white and black, have also been some of the nicest people I have encountered, and certainly upon the truth that not all Southerners are what we usually see on the news. Many parts of Georgia, Alabama, Kentucky, and other southern states are populated with people who dedicate themselves to upholding the virtuous ideals of the South and stand for the values of true Sothern hospitality.

With America being the extremely diverse country that it is, there are obviously going to be some parts that are viewed in a certain light. Sometimes this light can be negative, and rightly so, but there some places where the minority of people seem to dictate the reputation of the whole state. This is absolutely true when it comes to the American South.

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To My Nephew

Aunt life is the best life.

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When I think of pure joy, the first face that comes to my mind is the face of my nephew. I have never seen a human being have as much joy as my sweet sweet nephew. This baby can make anyone's day better, his joy is so contagious. I have never adored another human being so much in my life. From the moment I was told he was on the way until now, he has changed my life. He has had his entire family wrapped around his finger, since the day he was born.

Being an aunt, is not something you grow up thinking about. As girls grow up they have being a mom on their minds. That is what they think about the most. I did not think about being an aunt until my brothers got married. Once they were married, I started to think of the precious bundles of joy they would one day bring into the world. I could not wait for that day. When the day finally came, it was a feeling like no other. I wish I could describe the love and joy that entered my heart seeing my nephew for the first time. I have never experienced that before. I know one day it will be multiplied for my babies, but right now it is all focused on my nephew. I also felt an immense happiness and proudness of my brother and sister-in-law. They did so well and brought a true miracle into this world.

One day my nephew might stumble upon this article, and I want him to know a few things. To my precious nephew, first of all you are so loved. There is no one in your family who does not love you more than words could ever say. We all would do anything for you. You are the sweetest, most joyous, and cutest baby there ever was. (Okay I might be bias; but I'm an aunt I'm allowed.) You are a gift from God and one of his masterpieces, I pray you never believe you are not. The world is a better place because you are in it, you have changed so many lives. You have made all of our lives better and happier. You truly have great parents who clearly love you with all of their hearts. You are everything and more to them. They are lucky to have you, but always remember you are also lucky to have them.

Lastly, your aunt loves you more than she could ever describe. You can always come to me any time and I will spoil you, love on you, and I will always be here for you. You my sweet nephew have changed my world for the better. I love you so much.

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