This view is inevitable when people simply treat the South as an aberration of mainstream America, or a remnant of some past culture. We at Southern Exposure look at the South from another perspective. This is our home, we are of it and examine it that we may know more of ourselves and our neighbors. These are the politics and culture that surround us and affect us daily, that we must analyze, praise and attack so our lives can grow and prosper. And this is the ground from which we must view the larger world. By listening to local tobacco farmers discuss the pressures on them to expand or die, we can better understand Earl Butz's plan for US agribusiness. By hearing a bluesman's story, we come to appreciate how a particular culture evolves from material hardship and inspires immense creativity.
Early observers thought we'd never make it this far with a regional journal so critical of the powers that be and so preoccupied with the lesser known people, with the struggles and heritage of a culture considered bankrupt by sophisticated America. But, like the South, we have attained a new stability, partly from the spin-off of the media search for Jimmy Carter's South (they have yet to find it) and partly from our appeal to the same hunger for connections to a past, a place, a people, that made Roots a meaningful event for so many.