For those of you who might want to hear a voice other than the usual suspects about the topic we are discussing, I refer you to Cherryl Floyd-Miller's blog, Rootwork: A Writer's Life and Poetics. Floyd-Miller, known by many artists as "Blue," is a poet, playwright, fiber artist and advocate for fellow artists (for a more detailed bio, click here). In her post "Stereotype, Caricature...Balance," she talks about the ideas being debated on this blog, and her experiences as a Southerner and Southern writer, and the caricatures and stereotypes that she deals with regularly.
Many prominent NY bloggers have weighed in on this debate and declared there is no problem. In fact, they have declared the discussion over. On the other hand, bloggers from the South such as me and Floyd-Miller, have said there is, indeed, a problem. One might raise a question about who would be more likely to be aware of a problem, those affected by it or those who aren't. When African-Americans insist that America is still a racist and prejudiced society, white people tell them, "Oh, no. That's not happening. Things have changed. You're imagining things. You're exaggerating. Why don't you just calm down?" In that instance, who would you believe: the white person or the black person? And the difference when it comes to the south? Check out Floyd-Miller's Boston cabbie quotation, in case you don't think Southern stereotypes abound. It would be interesting to know just how much time this cabbie had spent in the south, and where he got his opinion from. Gee -- you don't think it might be from the media, do you? Naw -- I must be imagining it.