Issue 3: Summer 2015

I. Claw-Foot Bathtub | Rachel Allen 

When we returned to the barren foundation, nothing remained but Granny’s claw-foot bathtub.

 

II. A Pair of Gloves | Naomi B. Carbrey 

In Newton Grove, I was confronted with the reality of the absences and inadequacies migrant farmworkers face, but it was the seemingly small and insignificant absence of a pair of gloves that compelled me to understand the depth of the injustice lived by farmworkers in North Carolina tobacco fields.

III. Two Barns | Sarah Griffin 

My grandparents’ barn is a purely southern entity: a functional, rustic memory-generator. This barn has served every possible purpose. It held my grandparents’ farm-animals decades ago. Empty stalls became the place to dig for worms before my grandpa and I went fishing. After losing its structural integrity, the original barn was torn down and rebuilt, now serving as a storage unit and giant memory box for my grandpa’s military mementos.

IV. Tobacco Warehouses Krista Katzenmeyer

Though the smell of curing tobacco has disappeared from Durham, the buildings have lingered, loaning themselves to new purposes while still maintaining their proud exterior. Historic exteriors stand like monuments to days when names like “Bull Durham” and “Lucky Strike” were famous worldwide. The warehouses preserve within them a unique history and culture that epitomizes what it is that makes Durham southern.

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V. Palm Oil Stew and Rice | Stephanie Okonmah-Obazee 

Two items color-blocked on my plate: one a vivid, scarlet red, and the other a stark, alpine white. Each of these ingredients possesses their own lived history, but together they create a new story.

VI. Front Porch | Nicholas W. Place 

In a rural North Carolina town sits a small single-story brick house accompanied by a covered porch populated by potted plants, a table with chairs, a rocking chair, and depending on the time of day, people.

VII. Cooter | Samuel J. Resnick

My mother, upon picking me up from school and scoffing at the mud that made its way up my socks, asked me about my favorite part of the day. I innocently responded, “We saw a bunch of cooters and I almost caught one!” I looked up and caught my mom in a moment of utter perplexity. I watched as her inner eyebrows descended and jaw plopped halfway open.

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VIII. White Oak River Mud | Rachel Woodul

It is a salty, yet earthy smell, with sweet undertones that makes you want to take a deep breath of the fresh river air. You smell the mud long before you see the river, and by the time the river is in sight, the smell of the mud has already blended into the aesthetic of the landscape, no longer a distinct feature.

Issue 3 is a collection of essays and memoirs written by students in Bernard L. Herman’s course “Introduction to the American South: A Cultural Journey,” taught in spring 2015. They were selected and finalized under the guidance of co-editors-in-chief Rachel C. Kirby and Trista Reis Porter, graduate students and teaching assistants for the course.