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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Federal laws encouraged the convergence of the North and South

The North and South has converged politically, often at the hand of federal legislation. Dabney worries that the political union tarnished southern distinctiveness.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Virginius Dabney, July 31, 1975. Interview A-0311-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

DANIEL JORDAN:
Do you think that the South as an identifiable region is becoming less meaningful? Whether it is liberalism or anything? That the South has become blurred into the rest of the country to the degree that it is just not possible to talk about "southern liberalism," or southern anything?
VIRGINIUS DABNEY:
More and more, that is certainly the case. As we do away with, either forcibly or voluntarily, many of the things that differentiated the South from the rest of the country, we must move into an era where there is less difference and more uniformity. In a way, I hate to see that. I think the South has traditions and a heritage that is worth preserving and we are gradually seeing these things eroded by legislation and custom and practice.
WILLIAM H. TURPIN:
Do you see anything that is still peculiarly southern, that you could identify either in a good or bad sense?
VIRGINIUS DABNEY:
Well, I think that southerners are more leisurely and more friendly and slower in their movements and actions. I don't know whether it's the climate or tradition or what. I think the background of the South is a colorful one and the history is one that we like to think of in many ways. I hate to see everything becoming uniform and lacking color, with no picturesqueness or very little, and I am afraid that we are moving in that direction.