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Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure is a journal that was produced by the Institute for Southern Studies, publisher of Facing South, from 1973 until 2011. It covered a broad range of political and cultural issues in the region, with a special emphasis on investigative journalism and oral history.

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Articles by Southern Exposure

From the Archives: Acts of God?

December 16, 2021 - In 2004, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, devoted an issue to examining just how natural so-called "natural disasters" are. The reporting and analysis resonate today as residents of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky struggle to recover from a devastating December tornado outbreak — the impact of which was compounded by workplace policies that treated profits as more important than human lives.

From the Archives: The Southern Tenant Farmers' Union

October 1, 2021 - In 1974, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, published an issue of oral histories that included recollections of people who'd been involved with the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union. Many of them refer to the Elaine Massacre, a mass murder of rural Black Arkansans by white mobs in response to sharecropper organizing attempts that took place 102 years ago this week. We're reprinting those oral histories in memory of the massacre.

From the Archives: The Elaine Massacre

October 1, 2021 - This week marks the 102nd anniversary of the Elaine Massacre in Arkansas, when a union organizing attempt by Black sharecroppers was met with deadly violence by mobs of white people. From the archives of Southern Exposure, the print forerunner to Facing South, we're republishing an account of the tragedy drawn in part from oral histories of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union that appeared in the same issue.

From the Archives: Lies Across the South

August 26, 2021 - Our monuments, markers, and other historical sites shape how we remember our past — with implications for the present. Writing for Southern Exposure magazine in 2000, sociologist and people's historian James Loewen journeyed through the South's memorial landscape and found that, all too often, it got the story wrong. Loewen died this month at age 79.