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272Southern Cultures cal accomplishment of the South's dominant "modernizer elite," that is, as cultural hegemony. In either case the prospects for change in liberal directions do not seem hopeful. Abbott Ferriss seems naive in his concluding argument that social scientists, through organizations like the Southern Regional Council and the Southern Regional Education Board, have made a difference in the past and can be expected to do so in the future. Largely unaddressed throughout this volume is the question of whether sociological research and teaching will support the hegemony of conservatism (as Kasarda and others do when they attribute southern economic progress to "lower taxes and wage rates," "healthy doses of pro-growth attitudes and industrial boosterism," and avoidance of "strong unions") or whether they will help to establish a more just and humane South. As the South's coal miners put the matter years ago, it's all a question of "Which Side Are You On?" They Didn't Put That on the Huntley-Brinkley! A Vagabond Reporter Encounters the New South. By Hunter James. University of Georgia Press, 1993. 305 pp. Cloth, $29.95. Reviewed by Ferrei Guillory, who is Southern Correspondent of The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. Since joining the N&O in September 1972, he has written a weekly column of political and public policy analysis, with a special focus on North Carolina and the South. In addition, he has served as the newspaper's chief state capital correspondent, Washington Correspondent, associate editor for editorials, and government affairs editor. As luck would have it, Hunter James began his employment at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the same day that Ralph McGiIl, the newspaper's celebrated columnist, won a Pulitzer Prize. With excitement all around and his mind pondering the McGiIl legend, James had difficulty completing his assigned task of rewriting civic club announcements. It was not the only time from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s that the author found himself somewhat out of sync with events swirling in the South. Being out of sync, of course, has advantages as well as disadvantages, and both are on display in this collection of reportage and anecdotage. It enabled James to capture some touching scenes of everyday life among southern whites and blacks during the heyday of the civil rights movement, but it also left him with a tentativeness and even naivete in making connections between what he observed and what was transforming the South. James is a southern white journalist who has an easy rapport with black southerners and knows firsthand the complexities of personal race relationships. In his eyes the sweeping social changes taking place were accompanied by much melancholy and disorientation . "It is difficult for those who know the movement only from the headlines and from courses in modern history to grasp the frustration and bewilderment and feeling of betrayal that seized the people of both races," he writes. So he set out to tell stories that would not typically fit into the nightly national Huntley-Brinkley news broadcast. The richest story in this collection is "Barbershop Quartet." At his father's barbershop in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a black "shoeshine boy" obviously had more wealth than he could have accumulated simply from shining shoes and was reputedly engaged in a numbers racket. After a petty spat, one of the barbers reported him to the 1RS, Reviews273 and he spent five years in prison for income-tax evasion. The other barbers turned against their colleague, and the black "shoeshine boy" eventually returned to the shop. James tells of a sad visit to the shoe-shiner's wife and mother. He also tells of a wrenching visit to an old black man whose five-year-old daughter was blinded when night riders fired into their rural home in Alabama's Black Belt, seeking to frighten the old man into voting for blacks, not whites, as he was wont to do. Night after night thereafter, the old man sat on his front porch with a shotgun on his lap. In the same Black Belt region, a white family in a plantation house was irritated by a black maid who insisted on using their bathroom, but they didn...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
pp. 272-273
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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