The South Quotes

Quotes tagged as "the-south" Showing 1-30 of 69
Sarah Addison Allen
“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people's legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

Sarah Addison Allen
“She went to the window. A fine sheen of sugary frost covered everything in sight, and white smoke rose from chimneys in the valley below the resort town. The window opened to a rush of sharp early November air that would have the town in a flurry of activity, anticipating the tourists the colder weather always brought to the high mountains of North Carolina.

She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

Pat Conroy
“There are no ideas in the South, just barbecue.”
Pat Conroy, The Prince of Tides

Amanda Kyle Williams
“You learn to forgive (the South) for its narrow mind and growing pains because it has a huge heart. You forgive the stifling summers because the spring is lush and pastel sprinkled, because winter is merciful and brief, because corn bread and sweet tea and fried chicken are every bit as vital to a Sunday as getting dressed up for church, and because any southerner worth their salt says please and thank you. It's soft air and summer vines, pine woods and fat homegrown tomatoes. It's pulling the fruit right off a peach tree and letting the juice run down your chin. It's a closeted and profound appreciation for our neighbors in Alabama who bear the brunt of the Bubba jokes. The South gets in your blood and nose and skin bone-deep. I am less a part of the South than it is part of me. It's a romantic notion, being overcome by geography. But we are all a little starry-eyed down here. We're Rhett Butler and Scarlett O'Hara and Rosa Parks all at once.”
Amanda Kyle Williams

Fannie Flagg
“The food in the South is as important as food anywhere because it defines a person's culture.”
Fannie Flagg

Kellie Elmore
“Sing me a love song in a slow, southern drawl to the tune of sunny days...”
Kellie Elmore, Magic in the Backyard

Sarah Addison Allen
“The area was encompassed in a bubble of warm, fragrant steam from the funnel cake deep fryers. It smelled like sweet vanilla cake batter you licked off a spoon.”
Sarah Addison Allen, The Sugar Queen

“There are turning points in everyone's life when we have to fight, even if we have to do it by ourselves and in public.”
Junius Williams, Unfinished Agenda: Urban Politics in the Era of Black Power

“I am often asked “Why do Southerners still care about the Civil War?”… Because it is unique in the American experience. Defeat was total, surrender unconditional and the land still occupied.”
Tim Heaton

Steven Sherrill
“There is a certain quality of light to be found only in midsummer in the South, as day, slipping into dusk, acquiesces to the filament, the bulb, the porch light; this seductive light is beautiful when it washes across dry cement, the sidewalk and stoop. The light spilling from the phone booth softens and cleanses all that it touches. It's a forgiving and almost protective light. The Minotaur is drawn to it from across the parking lot.”
Steven Sherrill, The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break

Harriet Ann Jacobs
“I have myself known two southern wives who exhorted their husbands to free those slaves towards whom they stood in a "parental relation;" and their request was granted. These husbands blushed before the superior nobleness of their wives' natures. Though they had only counseled them to do that which was their duty to do, it commanded their respect, and rendered their conduct more exemplary. Concealment was at an end, and confidence took the place of distrust.”
Harriet A. Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Written by Herself

Margaret Mitchell
“She had seen Southern men, soft voiced and dangerous in the days before the war, reckless and hard in the last despairing days of the fighting. But in the faces of the two men who stared at each other across the candle flame so short a while ago there had been something that was different, something that heartened her but frightened her — fury which could find no words, determination which would stop at nothing.
For the first time, she felt a kinship with the people about her, felt one with them in their fears, their bitterness, their determination. No, it wasn’t to be borne! The South was too beautiful a place to be let go without a struggle, too loved to be trampled by Yankees who hated Southerners enough to enjoy grinding them into the dirt, too dear a homeland to be turned over to ignorant people drunk with whisky and freedom.
As she thought of Tony’s sudden entrance and swift exit, she felt herself akin to him, for she remembered the old story how her father had left Ireland, left hastily and by night, after a murder which was no murder to him or to his family. Gerald’s blood was in her, violent blood. She remembered her hot joy in shooting the marauding Yankee. Violent blood was in them all, perilously close to the surface, lurking just beneath the kindly courteous exteriors. All of them, all the men she knew, even the drowsy-eyed Ashley and fidgety old Frank, were like that underneath — murderous, violent if the need arose. Even Rhett, conscienceless scamp that he was, had killed a man for being “uppity to a lady.”
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With the Wind

John Hope Franklin
“[The South's] obsession was to maintain a government, an economy, an arrangement of the sexes, a relationship of the races, and a social system that had never existed...except in the fertile imagination of those who would not confront either the reality that existed or the change that would bring them closer to reality.”
John Hope Franklin

Margaret Mitchell
“But there was a difference in their hardness and hers and just what the difference was, she could not, for the moment, tell. Perhaps it was that there was nothing she would not do, and there were so many things these people would rather die than do. Perhaps it was that they were without hope but still smiling at life, bowing gracefully and passing it by. And this Scarlett could not do. She could not ignore life. She had to live it and it was too brutal, too hostile, for her even to try to gloss over its harshness with a smile. Of the sweetness and courage and unyielding pride of her friends, Scarlett saw nothing. She saw only a silly stiff-neckedness which observed facts but smiled and refused to look them in the face.”
Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind

Hank Bracker
“As the bus headed into the night, I noticed that the bench seat in the back of the bus was vacant. So I took my blanket and pillow, made my way to the back and stretched out. Rumbling along I was vaguely aware of the stops we made, but the night passed quickly. Eventually it started getting light outside, but looking around I saw that most people were still sleeping, including a Negro woman wearing a Navy uniform. She was a WAVE and must have boarded the bus sometime during the night. I had no idea where we were, but it didn’t matter as long as we were heading west.
Slowly the passengers woke up and looked around, including the young Negro lady. I never had a problem talking to people, so, striking up a conversation, I discovered that she was going home to Oklahoma City. I told her about being a cadet at Farragut and that I was now heading to California for the summer. Time always goes faster when there is someone to talk to and we had the entire back of the bus to ourselves. The first inkling that something was wrong came when we got off the bus for a rest stop in Little Rock, Arkansas. The driver told me that it wasn’t fitting to sit in the back of the bus with a Negro. I was dumbfounded, and coming from the North, I didn’t understand. I tried to explain that this woman was wearing the uniform of her country, but it didn’t make any difference. That’s just the way it was in the South!
We ran into the same kind of bigotry in the diner at our next rest stop, but before I could make an issue out of it, she hushed me up and explained that she just wanted to go home and didn’t need any problems. The two of us sat in the section for “Negroes Only,” where they served her but not this white boy, which is what I was called, along with other derogatory remarks. Never mind, I shared her sandwich and I guess they were just glad to get rid of us when we boarded the bus again. Behind me, I heard someone say something about my being a “nigger lover”.... Big as life, I sat in the back again! This time no one said anything and everything seemed forgotten by the time she got off in Oklahoma City. Another driver came aboard and took over. Saying goodbye to my friend, I got up and moved back to the seat I had had originally -- the one over the big hump for the rear tires!”
Captain Hank Bracker, "Seawater One...."

John F. Kennedy
“… the South is the land of Washington, who made our Nation – of Jefferson, who shaped its direction – and of Robert E. Lee who, after gallant failure, urged those who had followed him in bravery to reunite America in purpose and courage.” --President John F. Kennedy”
President John F. Kennedy

Duffy Brown
“You’ve only been engaged three hours. How in the world does this keep happening to you? Normal people don’t have bodies popping up in their lives like this except for that Jessica Fletcher woman in Cabot Cove. I can’t understand why anyone in their right mind would want to be her friend. They all wind up dead, and now you’re getting to be the same way.”
Duffy Brown, Lethal in Old Lace

“If a person were to ask me what I saw South, I should tell him stink weed, sand, rattlesnakes, and alligators. To tell the honest truth, our boys out on picket look sharper for snakes than they do for rebels.”
James Henry Gooding, On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front

William Faulkner
“But I didn't need to see him because he was there, he would always be there; maybe what Druscilla meant by his dream was not something which he possessed but something which he had bequeathed us which we could never forget, which would even assume the corporeal shape of him whenever any of us, black or white, closed our eyes.”
William Faulkner, The Unvanquished

Toni McGee Causey
“(Bless her heart's Southern for 'that bitch,' which Meryl was too polite to say out loud.)”
Toni McGee Causey, The Saints of the Lost and Found

Claire  O'Dell
“I had lived too long in states where you could - for the space of one blink, one breath - pretend there was no difference between white and any other color. My mother said that this belief was more dangerous than the in-your-face racism of the South.”
Claire O'Dell, A Study in Honor

Jason Medina
“The southern states were demanding a break from the Union for the second time in the history of the country. They wanted fences and walls put up to keep the virus in the north. Some were calling it karma for the American Civil War and for the removal of certain historic statues depicting Confederate heroes of the south. To make matters worse, states in the west also wished to secede from the Union”
Jason Medina, The Manhattanville Incident: An Undead Novel

Margaret Mitchell
“Why had he gone, stepping off into the dark, into the war, into a Cause that was lost, into a world that was mad? Why had he gone, Rhett who loved the pleasures of women and liquor, the comfort of good food and soft beds, the feel of fine linen and good leather, who hated the South and jeered at the fools who fought for it? Now he had set his varnished boots upon a bitter road where hunger tramped with tireless stride and wounds and weariness and heartbreak ran like yelping wolves. And the end of the road was death. He need not have gone. He was safe, rich, comfortable. But he had gone, leaving her alone in a night as black as blindness, with the Yankee Army between her and home.”
Margaret Mitchell, Gone With The Wind

Maggie Thrash
“You might assume my father is a Republican because he's so old-fashioned. But actually he's a Democrat. In the South, the difference is that Democrats go bird hunting while Republicans go deer hunting.”
Maggie Thrash, Lost Soul, Be at Peace

Wendell Berry
“He speaks always in reference to a real world, thoroughly experienced and understood. His words keep an almost physical hold on 'what I have touched with my hands and what have touched me...' Surely this is the power that we have periodically sensed in what is called (vulgarly) 'the vulgar tongue. It is a language under the discipline of experience, not of ideas or rules. Shaw's words, always interposed between experience and intelligence, have the exactitude of conviction, whereas the words of an analyst or theorist can have only the exactitude of definition.”
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?

“It seemed to me a lot of people had marrying on the mind in Louisiana. As if there was something like an unfinished sentence about a woman of 19 traveling alone. Perhaps, in the south, it was just hard to imagine that, “A woman of 19 travels alone.” was a complete sentence.”
Vanessa Osage, Can't Stop the Sunrise: Adventures in Healing, Confronting Corruption & the Journey to Institutional Reform

Barbara Neely
“For many years, Blanche worried that it was fear which sometimes made her reluctant to meet white people's eyes, particularly on days when she had the loneliest or the unspecified blues. She'd come to understand that her desire was to avoid pain, a pain so old, so deep, its memory was carried not in her mind, but in her bones. Some days she simply didn't want to look into the eyes of people likely raised to hate, disdain, or fear anyone who looked like her. It was not always useful to be in touch with race memory. The thought of her losses sometimes sucked the joy from her life for days at a time.”
Barbara Neely, Blanche on the Lam

“They are willing to make almost any sacrifice to obtain a railroad ticket, and they left with the intention of staying.”
Emmett J. Scott

Tony Horwitz
“Was there such a thing as politically correct remembrance of the Confederacy? Or was any attempt to honor the Cause inevitably tainted by what Southernerners once delicately referred to as their 'peculiar institution?”
Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War

Alyssa Rosenheck
“We don’t pretend the South has reconciled
itself—this is a land that has been built by and
taken from enslaved people. We are committed
to having the uncomfortable discussions, telling
the truth, and letting our curiosity fuel questions,
in the name of moving civil liberties, gender
equality, and race relations forward. I am merely
a photographer and storyteller, but my goal is
to shine light on the idea that art and creativity
reveal that we are far more alike than different.”
Alyssa Rosenheck, The New Southern Style: The Interiors of a Lifestyle and Design Movement

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