THE SOUTH TODAY by Willie- Ed. Morris


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100 Years after Appomattox,"" the South as it appears to eleven men, many with roots in the region. Negro and white, they represent various shades of opinion, but remain mainly apolitical in their appraisals. They range from Whitney Young, Jr's. (Urban League) assertion that ""the era of the emasculated Southern Negro male is vanishing"" to James Jackson Kilpatrick's (Richmond News Leader) assertion that ""today's Negroes are 300 years from African jungles; but the whites, by God's grace, are two thousand years from Greece and Rome."" In the main, they are hopeful: Philip Stern quotes a McComb, Miss. lawyer as saying he thinks ""the 1964 Civil Rights Act may turn out to be one of the best things that ever happened to the South."" Arna Bontemps, settled after Northern wandering at Fisk, says ""I am staying in the South to write something about the changes I have seen in my lifetime, and about the Negroes' awakening and regeneration."" On the other hand, British D.W. Brogan sees a crisis in the political secession of five southern States in the 1964 elections, Jonathan Daniels points out that the South desperately needs a new mythology of unequalled economic advance. The most fascinating contributions here lie in the aspect of homecoming, as of Louis Lomax to Valdosta, Georgia; or of William Styron's seeking of the setting of Nat Turner's rebellion in Virginia. Indeed, it is the sense of attachment rather than alienation prevalent in so much that has appeared recently which gives this book its particular quality. The contributors are all men of some distinction.

Publisher: Harper & Row