“What is culture? Knowledge, love and reverence, thereby possession – of the good and beautiful in our environment and our heritage.” – from a folk program for Institute of Rural Affairs, V.P.I., Blacksburg, Va., August 2, 1934
The Southern lifestyle is one that is esteemed on many levels, is treasured, romanticized, and constantly changed. It is indeed one of those topics that renders a visual of Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind,” running through Tara – petticoats flying behind in a white whirlwind. In the same sense, however, it is so much more. And because it is such an interesting, infamous culture, people are drawn to it, record it, and expand on it. Indeed, preservation is the key to keeping the traditions and tastes of Southern living and culture alive and kickin’. And the secret behind this preservation lies in countless unique individuals who all have one thing in common: an association with life south of the Mason-Dixon line.
The main focus of our group’s research is actually in the area of Southern women’s influence on culture, how their voices were heard, and how they shaped the ideals that we know today. Apparently, it hasn’t always been about hoop skirts, hospitality, and incredible soul food, but so much more. Through music, literature, and the arts, women have taken an innovative approach to tradition, but have always held fast to their Southern roots.
From folklore to love letters and cotton mills, this website displays a closer look at the affect of women on Southern culture, and the ways in which they have shaped society’s personal opinions.