I am retaking an English course to strive for a higher grade for application to the radiology program at Southern Crescent Technical College. The following contains my weekly journal about “The South” by Natasha Trethewey for my ENGL 1101 class.
When Trethewey combines poems about her personal history with poems about American history, specifically about black soldiers serving during the Civil War, she is linking the history of the South to her personal experience as a mixed-race woman. The way people treat her now is due to the history of African Americans in the South. Prejudice still exists for African Americans now.
I am tied to the South by family, and I have lived in Georgia almost all my life. My father grew up in Jackson, and my mother grew up in Jasper in the Georgia mountains. To the best of my knowledge, our extended family is mostly here in Georgia except for three cousins. I like the warmer weather of the South compared to the cold winters and snow in the North. I also love the beach, but I could get these things in California. However, my family will always be here in Georgia.
I grew up in a conservative Christian home. I feel like the black sheep in my family, and I feel a bit out of place in the South. Georgia is in the Bible belt, but I am a liberal. I particularly felt this way during Trump’s impeachment acquittal and when he was elected. While liberals exist here, this area is dominantly Republican and Trump-loving. I have become friends with several people that are not even American and who tend to be more liberal. I often wonder what it would be like to live in California or somewhere else, but I do not think I would ever move far because of family.
I do not agree with what the South stood for during the Civil War. It is directly opposed to my liberal beliefs. I love diversity, and I embrace different races, nationalities, cultures, and LGBTQ. I find different religious beliefs interesting and that no one should feel isolated because of them or have to hide them. No one should be offended by “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Holidays,” or any other message wishing goodwill. I even support different political beliefs unless those beliefs are so extreme, people must harm, hate, or ostracize those with views that are the opposite. This country is supposed to be a free country and sanctuary where people can live their lives the way they want and believe what they want. For this to happen, we need to let others live their lives the way they want and believe what they want. Love one another. Harm none. Be tolerant and coexist.
Featured Image: Sunrise at the McFadden Farm, Photo by: NPS Volunteer – Buddy Secor, Photo Source: National Park Service, License: CC0 1.0 Public Domain