Southern Style Before the Yankees Came

Update: Check out Joshua Rothman’s take on this story.

Allure of AntebellumWhat better way to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the release of the movie, “Gone With the Wind” than with a Fall fashion spread inspired by life on an antebellum plantation. That’s exactly what some actress by the name of Blake Lively is doing. I guess this is how one gets old because before today I never heard of this person. Having just finished Baptist’s new book, I have very little patience for such nonsense.

Georgia peaches, sweet tea, and the enticement of a smooth twang…we all love a bit of southern charm. These regional mainstays, along with an innate sense of social poise, evoke an unparalleled warmth and authenticity in style and tradition.

The term “Southern Belle” came to fruition during the Antebellum period (prior to the Civil War), acknowledging women with an inherent social distinction who set the standards for style and appearance. These women epitomized Southern hospitality with a cultivation of beauty and grace, but even more with a captivating and magnetic sensibility. While at times depicted as coy, these belles of the ball, in actuality could command attention with the ease of a hummingbird relishing a pastoral bloom.

Like the debutantes of yesteryear, the authenticity and allure still ring true today. Hoop skirts are replaced by flared and pleated A-lines; oversized straw toppers are transformed into wide-brimmed floppy hats and wool fedoras.

The prowess of artful layering -the southern way- lies in inadvertent combinations. From menswear-inspired overcoats to the fluidity of soft flowing separates, wrap yourself up in tactile layers that elicit a true sense of seasonal lure.

Embrace the season and the magic below the Mason-Dixon with styles as theatric as a Dixie drawl.

Just don’t ask where their allowance for clothing came from or the raw material itself.

Virginia Flaggers Looking For Disaffected Students and Alumni

Virginia FlaggersThe Virginia Flaggers have now been on the ground for the past few weeks in Lexington protesting W&L’s decision to remove replica Confederate flags from the chapel and yet we have yet to see a single photograph of a student or alumni on the grounds calling for their return. “Plenty of support” indeed, just not the kind of support that matters.

On second thought, perhaps I misinterpreted their strategy. Perhaps the Virginia Flaggers are taking the long view and are preparing kids like these for admission to W&L. Once admitted they will bring about change from within. Brilliant.

The South Carolina Confederate Flag’s Days Are Numbered

The question of whether the Confederate Battle flag should remain on the grounds of the state capital is now a campaign issue. Well, it’s always been an issue since it was removed from atop the State House in 2000. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Vincent Sheheen, is running on a platform that includes the permanent removal of the flag. Continue reading “The South Carolina Confederate Flag’s Days Are Numbered”

Putting a Minor in History to Work

The creator of this video claims to be putting his minor in history to good use by sharing what the Civil War was really about. I think you know what this is code for. I will try to find out where his minor in history was completed, though I am fairly confident that no one I know will be embarrassed. The one point that does resonate with me having read Edward Baptist’s new book comes at the 3:25 mark when it is claimed that the elimination of slavery was a “deep blow to private property and free enterprise.” Southern slaveholders would have certainly agreed with that claim.

By the way, you don’t really need to watch this video.

[Uploaded to YouTube on September 29, 2014]

“We Shall Overcome”

Confederate FlagLooks like more Confederate Battle flags are flying over America’s Southern highways, but I suspect that heritage groups won’t be celebrating. A group calling itself The Lewla Movement hopes to spark discussion about race relations, history and the meaning of the Confederate flag.

I appreciate how this billboard juxtaposes the history of the flag and its connection to a war to protect slavery and white supremacy with the rallying cry of this nation’s most important grassroots movement to expand civil rights.

But that’s just my interpretation.