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Stories

Two Cultures, One Filmmaker

She grew up in a bicultural family with deep roots in South Carolina. The product of two rich storytelling traditions, she now captures on film the dualities of the South—and of her own life story.

Southern Characters and History

It’s a week of variety and food for thought at Salvation South.

A Dream Re-Rendered

Zeniya Cooley is a young Black writer who grew up loving “Gone With the Wind.” Today, she reckons with a world where books imagining a more inclusive world are banned while Old South tomes like “GWTW” go unchallenged.

Two Poems by Jesse Breite

An Arkansas native poet brings us pieces that remember an important figure in Southern Black history and that evoke the scorching heat of summer days.

“Do You Know About Ernestine Crowell?”

Ernestine Crowell is the self-described “militant Black woman” who rides herd over the 105 members of Alabama’s House of Representatives. She is feared. She is beloved. She is one of a kind.

Listen to This: Music from the Tennessee Mountains

Norman Blake is a veteran keeper of the Tennessee mountains’ musical traditions. And a young act, the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys, is championing the same heritage.

Music and Principles

Salvation South has lots of music for you this week — and a touching story about an important value: standing by the folks who fought alongside you.

Repeatedly Almost Famous

In the late 1960s, a soul band called the Chevelles came together in Milledgeville, Georgia. By the time they graduated high school, they already had a hit record and had performed at Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater. But they never got their due. Here’s their story.

Zainullah Zaki Comes to Texas

Salvation South contributor Russell Worth Parker helped write “Always Faithful,” the story of how a U.S. Marine major worked to get his Afghan translator out of the country when it fell last year. Today, the translator is building a new life in Texas with his wife and four children. (With a review of the book by J.A. Dailey)

Making Women Cry

In 2015, novelist Jonathan Odell, a Mississippi native, shared the stage with a legend of Southern literature, Pat Conroy, at Georgia’s Decatur Book Festival. In this lovely remembrance, he recalls how Conroy treated his fans like family.

Shouting, Shaking and Loving Like Family

In Salvation South’s story lineup this week, we do a deep dive into the Ring Shout — an essential piece of Southern culture. We throw in some Elvis Presley and Pat Conroy for a bonus.

Blood Memory

The Ring Shout — an ecstatic and transcendent spiritual dance rooted in West Africa — rose historically through the South as a tool of Black resistance. Today, its cultural significance and power serve the purpose of collective healing and the expression of Black joy.

Elvis Saves

How a Yankee found religion in the music of the boy from Tupelo