The Hunger of Dogs by Rebecca Clay Haynes

Southern Legitimacy Statement: You couldn’t make my husband leave the South if you set a pack of dogs on him — he’s spent his whole life in North Carolina but for a spell in Vietnam and that was against his will. I, on the other hand, landed here by accident and have spent some good years plotting my escape. Born and raised Yankee, don’t you know.”

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Your Head or Your Heart by Andrew Waters

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I’m Southern because a photo of Robert E. Lee hung in my childhood home but I was named for a bona fide scalawag. I root for Lost Causes like Tar Heel football and Democrats. I’m Southern because when I lived in New York, and some sassy New York City girl teased me about my accent, I said, “What accent?” I think Pabst Blue Ribbon tastes like piss. I hear trains in the night. I still hate Jesse Helms and that son-of-a-bitch has been dead for years. I’m Southern because my momma’s buried in the shadow of Thomas Wolfe’s angel. I’m as Southern as the Blue Ridge Mountains, which is where I’m from. Is that Southern enough for you?

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Room by J. Malcom Garcia

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
I say ya’ll and I declare and I think billboards quoting scripture are as natural as trees. So whatever ya’ll may say otherwise, I declare in the presence of the Almighty, that’s southern.

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How to Treat a Horse by Kitty Liang

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Being born and raised in Beijing doesn’t make me a Southerner. But two-stepping to George and Merle, wearing bolo ties and spurs on my boots, raising rabbits and barrel racing do. Most of all, it’s the drinking of Southern Comfort that makes me so.

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The Phantom Truck by strannikov

Am I Southern? You tell me.

I eat sushi, not fried seafood. I don’t drink bourbon; I drink unsweetened tea.

I was born and raised in South Carolina but graduated from the University of Mississippi.

A paternal great-great-great grandfather was a Confederate combatant at the Second Battle of Manassas and died from his wounds months after that illustrious victory; to compensate for misgivings about the prudence of secession in 1860, I argue that secession was undertaken at least thirty years too late to avert war or to avoid losing one.

My grandfather and my father were both tobacco farmers. I am no tobacco farmer and do not smoke or chew tobacco, or dip snuff. I am no farmer, period.

I was raised on Pepsi but have not had a twelve-ounce serving in years or even decades. I can eat boiled peanuts but do not commonly seek them out. The odor of Coca-Cola sickens me.

My taste in barbeque veers toward the tomatoey-peppery-vinegary, although I will sample the mustardy varieties for a change of pace. I restrict barbeque consumption to the months between October and March. Ounce for ounce and gram for gram, I eat more pasta in a year than pork.

Avidly, I have read Cousin Flannery; but to date I’ve not read one line of Eudora. I’ve paid my respects at Faulkner’s grave but have never visited Macon to pay respects to Duane Allman and Berry Oakley.

I do not own or drive a pick-up truck, with or without gun rack, with or without mud flaps, with or without Confederate emblems.

I once owned Marshall Tucker albums but can’t even name a tune by Hootie and the Blowfish.

I disagree with James L. Petigru, Esq.: South Carolina is large enough to qualify as a republic and if anything is too small to be a serviceable insane asylum.

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Fields White With Harvest by Sylvie Galloway

Southern Legitimacy Statement

I am certainly what you would call a southern woman. I grew up in East Tennessee, married then moved to the Western North Carolina mountains then moved even further south to the upstate of South Carolina. Now divorced, I attend a small southern woman’s college while wading hip deep through the world of perm rods, hair spray and tease combs. Hairdressing keeps the mortgage payments current, and my asthma doctor’s budget in the black.

I live in a world where ya’ll is a token word in most conversations, ice tea is strong and harmful to one’s pancreas and grits is considered one of the four essential food groups. I also live in a world, that although I’ve been called a southern gal all my life, I don’t always feel like I fit in. Maybe that’s from being nerdy, somewhat bookish, and exhibiting no real talent or interest for sports of any kind, fishing, hunting, beauty contesting, baton twirling, clogging, shagging, or the baking or the frying of southern culinary delights. I also couldn’t tell you who is in the running for this year’s NASCAR driver of the year award if my life depended on it.

But where else but here in the south can you get peaches and strawberries picked fresh that morning? Where else does the hint of snow send two thirds of the county scrambling to the grocery for a week of supplies? Where else can one spend the summer partaking in the battle of trying to get something to grow in your backyard besides fire ant colonies?

What I am is woman who lives in a place I can’t imagine ever leaving. I raised my kids here, my grand kids were born here. My four cats were deposited upon my doorstep here. I’m a southern woman, and quite content with the label. Now can someone pass me a glass of that iced tea? I’m rather parched.

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Terri French – When Pig Flies

Southern Legitimacy Statement:
It’s been almost a quarter of a century that I have lived in the south. I am an almost legitimate, 100-percent, bona fide, honest to goodness, dixie chick. Sure as a cat’s got climbing gear, I am as country as a churn. These hills ‘n hollers, this red clay, is my neck of the woods, my stompin’ grounds, my. . .Ok, so I’m trying too hard. I’ve still got a few months left to get the Yankee out of me, ok?

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Stephen March: My Dream of Magic

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I was born about 100 miles South of the Mason Dixon line, and soon moved farther South, to Tennessee. I later lived in Louisiana, Georgia and, especially North Carolina. At a party in Soho a woman onced asked me, “If I woke you up in the middle of the night would you still talk that way (i.e. with that accent)? I told her that I would!

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Joshua Edds: Epiphany on the Waccamaw

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am from everywhere and nowhere, a country boy lost in the city. The gods cursed me; my poor soul violently ripped from the warm embrace of my native West Virginia and hurled into exile. In my exile I’ve wandered aimlessly around the country, managing to settle down briefly in one strange place or another—the Kentucky coal fields, the drug-infested slums of the Carolina upstate, and now fondly call the bars and clubs of the Grand Strand nightlife “home.”

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