The state that brought you Pepsi, aviation and the greatest rivalry in NCAA Basketball is somehow not considered a Southern state to some people. Let me fill you in on a little secret, we are in fact a member of the south. According to this poll organized by Vox, North Carolina ranked 7th on the list for "the most Southern states." Vox lists 12 states that are considered the "South" and these states include (in the order listed in the poll) Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, NORTH CAROLINA, Arkansas, Florida, Virginia, Texas, and Kentucky. (Pretty sure Florida made this list solely on geography and not atmosphere.)
Let me give you four reasons why North Carolina is part of the south and why our brother and sister states should start welcoming us with opening arms.
1. Our tea is served sweet and our chicken is Bojangles.
I feel as if good sweet tea is the final say in what defines a Southern state. North Carolina definitely meets that qualification. Bojangles is also a staple of our Southern state. Of course, we have grandma's home cooked meals, but our choice of fast food chicken is served in a gold box. This means it comes straight from Heaven. It's always "Bo time" in North Carolina.
2. We say "y'all" and "bless your heart."
Southern-isms are my absolute favorite. I most definitely have a Southern accent and so do most North Carolinians. We hold our horses and pitch hissy fits just like every other Southerner. We have lightning bugs and "roly-polies."
3. We have tons of farms and fields.
Okay, I understand that Montana and Iowa have farms also and they are not a part of the South. However, we have the type of farms where you just know you are in the South. Red clay earth underneath our crops and tall pine trees lining the perimeter of the field. North Carolina is a top 10 producer of 19 items. Including being the number-one producer of sweet potatoes and tobacco. North Carolina is also the number-two producer of hogs, pigs, and turkey. So, if you enjoy your bacon and Thanksgiving dinner, thank a North Carolina farmer.
4. Our Simply Southern and Southern Fried Cotton shirts are to die for.
We have the beaches and the mountains on the backs of our T-shirts. North Carolina is known for its beautiful spacious mountain skies and the warm salty air of its coasts. Even the Southern T-shirt companies recognize North Carolina as the South.
Being a Southerner provides a sense of identity and connection that every other Southerner can relate to. It is a unique community that I am grateful to be a member of. Just because we aren't from the Deep South doesn't mean we prefer our tea unsweet and pull for the Patriots. Please start including us.