The Southern Distinctive is a site designed to help raise questions about the South and to explore what the region might continue to mean in our generation. Although most used today as an adjective, nineteenth century writers often used the word “distinctive” as a noun, meaning a distinquing mark or quality. And thus it is used here. “Distinctiveness” is the term scholars of the South like to use to talk about the region in university classrooms, history books, and conference panels. These people try to explain Southern distinctiveness as a vague and abstract concept. The word itself simply means the quality of being different. That’s not a good enough term for what we want to do with this site. The South is a place of particular, noticeable distinctives that can be named, viewed, and comprehended.We aim to rediscover what those distinctives may have been in the past, and what distinctives of the South remain or are being refashioned for use in our time.
The underlying purpose of this venture is to foster a celebratory attitude about things that are useful in the matter of Southern identity. Specifically, our attention is focused on people who are seriously interested in exploring and celebrating Southern history, music, places, land, faith, and culture either for personal fulfillment or public discourse.
Our goal is simple, we want to enjoy the South while encouraging a deeper understanding of the region’s most lasting characteristics. Based upon a view of the South as a unique cultural entity in the American context, the Southern Distinctive seeks to provide meaningful knowledge about the South coupled with a healthy dose of down-home entertainment.
It is our hope that others will come to see the South less as a place to be vilified and more as a place to be appreciated. There’s much good here. The South has contributed much to the wider world, including music, literature, food, and a dedication to the permanent things. In a world characterized by the flighty notions of wealth and progress, we want others to embrace the fact that, here, it’s ok to be old-fashioned.
The Southern Distinctive exists to offer information, perspective, and entertainment dedicated to providing memorable and worthwhile experiences in keeping with the many and varied traditions of the rural South. Need live music for an event? We can do that. Want someone to speak at your gathering? We can do that too. Just looking for something to lift your spirit? Feel free to check out our posts and video collection. C’mon in any time. Stay awhile. We’re glad to have you.