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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.

A history of groundbreaking reporting on the South's poultry industry

June 1, 2021 - It was 32 years ago that Southern Exposure — the print forerunner to Facing South — set out to document conditions in the region's fast-growing poultry industry. Many of the problems it reported on continue today. And as our recent reporting has shown, the pandemic created new challenges for the industry's changing workforce while also presenting opportunities for organizing in an industry that's long resisted unionization.

From the Archives: We needed to know more about the South

March 12, 2021 - The Institute for Southern Studies was founded 51 years ago this week. To celebrate our birthday and commemorate our history, we're republishing an oral history from Sue Thrasher, one of the founders of the organization and an original editor of Southern Exposure magazine, the print publication that preceded Facing South.

Mab Segrest on building a Southern freedom movement for all

July 16, 2020 - In 1988, Southern Exposure, the print forerunner of Facing South, published a speech by Segrest, a North Carolina anti-racist organizer and lesbian activist, for an issue on lesbians and gays in the South. Segrest went on to write several books, including "Memoir of a Race Traitor," and to teach college in Connecticut. Back in North Carolina again, Segrest recently talked with Facing South about the urgency of broad-based organizing in this historic moment.