As I drove the final stretch home on my Southern U.S. road trip–through Wisconsin to the Twin Cities–the idea struck me:
I’m going to give a presentation about this whole experience.
Over the previous 15 days, I had interviewed elderly Southerners, self-proclaimed “redneck” Southerners, Pentecostal Southerners, old hippie transplant Southerners, Progressive Southerners, retired hobby-farm Southerners, and others. They opened up to me about their lives, their outlooks on the world, their hopes and struggles.
And more than these life stories and interviews were the issues and topics threading their way through the South: unity, segregation, growing old, race, the Confederate Flag, poverty, and more.
These ingredients combined to create the presentation I gave last Tuesday evening in Minneapolis: the “People of the South” presentation of stories, photos, and video from my interactions and insights gained throughout the South.
It went well.
A local news agency attended and created this video segment:
Now I’d like to take the show on the road. And there’s no better place to share about the South than the North.
As I did in the spring of 2015 when I shared about my travels through East Africa, I’m interested in now sharing my People of the South presentation to audiences in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bemidji, Duluth, and other communities interested in hearing firsthand the interactions and insights gained from my summer travel through the South.
Arkansas Bob talked with me about the spiritual unity of his community:
Chattanooga Ruth talked about growing up poor and black in the South:
Memphis Barry, 92, spoke candidly about facing life’s end:
“Redneck” Bob talked about life off the grid (and why he flies the Confederate Flag):
West Virginia Carrie spoke with me about the drug abuse and stagnant economy affecting her life:
Stay tuned for more information for when I may be coming to your city. And please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help with arranging such an event.
In any case, it was a pleasure to share the stories and lessons learned with my audience in Minneapolis. I look forward to my next opportunity to do so.