A Florida professor has weighed in on the definition of the South.
In a piece in the St. Petersburg Times Sunday, English professor Diane Roberts quotes Chris Kromm, director of the Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, on the litany of reasons people give for removing North Carolina from the South:
"Every time a Southern state starts voting for Democrats, people say, 'Oh, that's not the real South,' " says Kromm. When Barack Obama won North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, some "wanted to magically declare them somehow un-Southern."
The "Southern" parts of the South seem to be shrinking, at least to those who define "Southern" as white right-wingers who say "y'all." ...
North Carolina isn't Southern because it's attracting Midwestern retirees, Latinos and tech types. Plus, there's the Research Triangle, the constellation of great universities, labs and libraries so despised by Sen. Jesse Helms. Real Southerners don't cotton to book learning.
Roberts argues that North Carolina, Virginia and Florida are not aberrations, but the beginning of the "New South we've been promising ourselves since 1865."