Posts tagged Louisiana
Posts tagged Louisiana
I recently made a trip back home to Memphis, with pit stops in Sikeston, MO to see my maternal grandparents and Potts Camp, MS to visit my daddy’s side of the family. When I travel, I think a lot about the South, what it was, what it is, where it’s headed. But it seems like there there isn’t always a consensus about what is Southern and what isn’t. My grandparents in Sikeston, for example, have a few Southern tendencies, but don’t really consider themselves Southern, but both of their children do/did.
Momma moved to Memphis in 1976 to attend nursing school and most definitely has always considered herself a Southern woman. Her brother stayed in the Bootheel, but he and his kids all consider themselves Southern. And my mother and I have always accepted that as fact. After all, Southeast MO is a cultural transition area where the South meets the Midwest. That part of the sate often even pronounces their homeland as “Missourah” instead of the traditional “Missouree,” definitely a Southern speech pattern.
My grandparents tell me almost every time I see them that I “don’t sound like [I’m] from Memphis.” It used to somewhat offend me, but I’ve realized why they think this way: I speak quickly. The idea that all Southerners speak slowly is not only antiquated, it’s very inaccurate. Sure, there are plenty of Southerners that still speak like that, but it’s not really the norm anymore. So many of us are from large cities and speaking slowly just doesn’t generally cut it there. Doesn’t mean we’ve lost our accent or manners, just that we have just as much to say, but less time to do so.
But Southern culture isn’t one giant homogenous thing. We share common elements, the fact that we drawl our words, but even the way we do that varies. Carolina Lowcountry isn’t West Tennessee cotton culture. So, I decided to make this map. I know that even this is somewhat of a generalization, but feel like it’s pretty accurate. I’m always open to suggestions if anyone has them. And obviously these different areas aren’t exclusive; cultures bleed and blend. Southern Appalachia is most definitely Southern, but it’s different than central Georgia’s culture. Also, the Deep South is generally listed as MS, AL, and GA. But Southeast AR, North LA and SC definitely constitute Deep South as well. I’ve included the very Southwest corner of TN, namely Memphis and up to around the Covington, TN area. The reason for this is that we are part of the Mississippi River Delta and Delta culture is most definitely Deep South.
Do note “New South” doesn’t strictly denote the idea that these areas haven’t always been considered the South, rather that they are now the outermost border of what is thought of as the South by most people today.
Our culture constantly grows, shifts, and evolves, yet maintains our Southern charms and sensibilities. The South is our home and here’s to keeping it that way!
The Pelican State
Self Evident Truths is a project I heard about a long time ago and, honestly, figured would fizzle out. It didn’t. I learned today that they are actually headed out on a tour of the South!
NYC based photographer, iO Tillet Wright, began this project in 2010, photographing a few hundred people in NYC. But the project has grown! And, as Southerners, our faces need to be seen and our voices heard. So often, we are left out of the conversation on LGBTQ rights all together. People assume we grow up and move away; we try to escape the South. We need to show them that we are here and happy! After all, if we all left, this place would never change. I encourage everyone that has the possibility to do so to turn out and have your photo taken.
Here is a list of the cities they will be in and when:
Oklahoma City, OK February 24 & 25
Little Rock, AR
New Orleans, LA
March 1 & 2
March 6 & 7
March 11 & 12
If you haven’t see this video, take a look soon. It’s likely to be pulled from YouTube as it is completely NSFW. This is absolutely disgraceful. Not only should one team never do this to another (let alone one in the same conference), it should never be done to another person!!! This is absolutely ridiculous. In public. I’m so floored by this, I don’t even have anything clever to say.
To conclude my SEC series this year, I thought I’d end with this awesome picture I found while trolling around for images to follow my blog entries. Hope you enjoyed it! Staty tuned. With the addition of Texas A&M and one other potential school, I’ll have to update this series next fall!
LSU Marching Band
The official name for the flagship university of the state of Louisiana is Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, but most people simply know it as LSU. Now located in Baton Rouge, although originally in Pineville, Louisiana, the state General Assembly passed legislation to create The Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana (l’Université de l’Etat de la Louisiane) in 1853. By the time the school opened in 1860, the school had 5 professors and 19 cadets and it had change it’s name to Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy. This would remain short lived, however. By June of 1861, the university closed due to the American Civil War. Unlike other Southern universities though, LSU attempted to reopen in 1862, but again had to shut its doors again in 1863 until 1865. In 1870, the name was officially to The Louisiana State University. By 1873, despite having opened in 1860, LSU had only graduated 5 classes. That number would remain unchanged until 1882, well after the Southern Reconstruction Era ended in 1877.
In 1874, Louisiana State Agricultural & Mechanical College opened and was housed at The University of Louisiana in New Orleans while waiting to move into its own home in Chalmette. Only a year later, when their campus was finished, the name was changed to Louisiana A&M College. The interesting note about this is that this campus was racially integrated. Yes, in 1875. This period was anything but permanent, however. In 1877, Louisiana A&M and Louisiana State University merged and changed their name for the last time to Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.
In 1904, Olivia Davis, transfered to LSU, becoming the university’s first female student. She graduated in 1905 with a Master’s in Mathematics. Largely thanks to her, 17 women were first admitted as freshmen in 1906.
In 1916, thanks to the National Defense Act, LSU issued to students in efforts to increase military preparedness. Less than a year later, the US entered WWI. 1925 saw the move to the current campus, finally finished after almost a decade of construction. In 1931, the School of Medicine opened in New Orleans, just down the street form Tulane University, and in 1934, the first undergrad branch of LSU opened in Monroe.
From that point on, LSU took a similar route as other SEC schools by participating in the US Navy’s V-12 Officer’s Training Program during WWII, as did The University of Alabama, and opening branch locations to further higher education in the state of Louisiana, similarly to The University of Tennessee. From 1939 until 1969, LSU opened multiple satellite campuses and graduate programs: John McNeese Junior College, Francis T. Nicholls Junior College, LSU - New Orleans, LSU - Alexandria, LSU - Eunice, LSU - Shreveport, College of Law, College of Veterinary Medicine, and College of Medicine.
In 1950, Louisiana State University admitted its first African-American students since the 1870’s, but only to a few graduate programs. It wasn’t until 1953 that A.P. Tureaud, Jr., was admitted as LSU’s first black undergraduate student in the 3-2 pre-law and law program, but Tureaud transferred out by the end of his first semester. 1964 saw the first truly successful enrollment of 6 African-American undergraduate students.
Although LSU played its first football game in 1893, a game against Tulane University that ended in a shutout defeat of 34-0, the school’s mascot Mike I didn’t arrive at the school from the Little Rock Zoo until 1936. It was such a day of celebration that students blocked off the campus and classes were cancelled. The current mascot, Mike VI, began his reign in 2007.
LSU has come a long way since its initial founding. They have faced everything from wars to natural disasters, and handled them with the all the grace and composure expected of a prominent Southern institution. In 2005, when hurricane Katrina hit, LSU and Baton Rouge not only accepted 2,300 transfer students from Xavier University, Loyola University of Louisiana, University of New Orleans, and Tulane University, (as did many SEC schools), they also converted a building on campus to a fully functioning field hospital. The spirit of the South is live and well in Louisiana State University, its faculty, staff, and students, and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.