Monday, May 16, 2011

My Home's in Alabama

I've lived in Alabama for over twenty-five years. I was not born in the South, but I am a Southerner by the grace of God. I believe that every state and every region has something to be proud of...and together we can celebrate each other's gifts. That's what makes us the "United States."

But Alabama has always suffered in the way it has been represented in the media. We're always at the bottom of some list, and jokingly say, "Thank God for Mississippi!" It was pointed out to me recently, though, that Alabama was upgraded on a new list. It is now No.#1 for tornadoes.

There is one thing that is often overlooked about Alabama and the South. We have had some great talent come from the red clay dirt and cotton fields that dot this landscape, from the hills and hollows, and even from the Gulf Coast. I bet there are some people who don't realize that Alabama actually has beaches. But Alabama has produced some literary giants, like Harper Lee, who wrote "To Kill a Mockingbird" and Truman Capote, her childhood friend from Monroeville. Helen Keller was from Tuscumbia. Former Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice, is from Birmingham. Fannie Flagg, another Birmingham native, gave us "Fried Green Tomatoes" and Winston Groom wrote "Forrest Gump." Somehow, the creative juices that were born in this southern state are ingrained in our minds. Who can forget Scout and Atticus, from "To Kill a Mockingbird?" Who will ever forget "Life is like a box of chocolates" from "Forrest Gump?" What woman hasn't jumped off of her sofa in her bathrobe, cheering Kathy Bates in "Fried Green Tomatoes" in the parking lot scene at Walmart? And who has not seen "The Miracle Worker" and knows the story of Helen Keller by heart?

 Everyone knows that Hank Williams was born in Montgomery, Alabama. His music needs no introduction, but I love his song, "I Saw the Light". My absolute favorite gospel song is " I Shall Not Walk Alone" by the Blind Boys of Alabama. The group, Alabama, recorded a song, "Angels Among Us" that has always been one of my favorites. Taylor Hicks, an Alabama native, was the winner on American Idol a few years ago. Tammy Wynette was also from Alabama. And, of course, Lynyrd Skynyrd gave us "Sweet Home Alabama."

Yes, here in Alabama we might live across from a cotton field or live in a mansion on a hill. We like our sweet tea and we like our football rivalries. We are passionate about our faith and our politics and we cherish our liberties. The Old South is no more, but the New South has a lot of heart and a lot of soul. Just listen.


lil red hen said...

You do have a lot to be proud of and I know the feeling of being put down as a state. The people in my state are often referred to as hillbillies or boonies, but that's o.k. with me. I wouldn't trade with those who see us that way. At least we can see the moon and stars at night and all the wonderful creations of our God.

Anita said...

I agree, lil red hen. Blessings, Anita.

Janet, said...

Good for you! You are proud of your state as I am of ours. Sometimes we are looked down upon, but I wouldn't live anywhere else and I bet you feel the same way.

Kuki... said...

Girl, Alabama needs to hire you as a PR've got alot of information to share! This is my first visit to your blog, I look forward to exploring past posts and to future visits!

Rita said...

Anita, what a wonderful post about your lovely state. Oh that other people had as much pride in their states as you have. I know that you guys have had so much devastation, but that you are pulling together to make the best of things there after the tornados. I pray that you will be able to rebuild your beautiful state.

Relyn said...

We live in Missouri now, but I'll always be a southern girl, too. There is just nothing like the south. Mine's not Alabama, but Tennessee, though. Hey, neighbor.