tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 16

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Jim Clyburn elected president of South Carolina’s Young Democrats, 1972

Though Clyburn is not a GenXer, his election in this case shows a marked difference between the Southern politics that the Boomers were familiar with – in South Carolina, that meant Strom Thurmond – and the politics that Generation X became familiar with. For older Southerners, the Democrats were the party of segregation, but it had become the party of Civil Rights by the 1970s. Clyburn rose through the ranks of the party, and as a congressman has been credited with garnering many Southern black votes for Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election.

Mississippi University for Women in the 1970s and ’80s

Showing perhaps some degree of change in Deep Southern culture, Mississippi State College for Women was renamed Mississippi University for Women in 1974. Then, MUW began admitting male students in 1982, and in 1989, the school got its first female president, Clyda Rent. Since its founding in 1884, there had been three female interim presidents who served brief terms before her. Since 1989, only one of the six presidents has been male.

The Todd Road Incident and Leadership Montgomery, 1983

Montgomery, Alabama is well-known as the site of Rosa Parks 1955 arrest and as the destination for the 1965 voting-rights marchers, but fewer people know about the city’s ongoing racial divisions, which continued. The Todd Road Incident involved the shooting of a black teenager by police officers who did not identify themselves as such. In the wake of the controversy, the organization Leadership Montgomery was formed, in hopes of addressing the issues that led to these situations.

“Flashback photos: 30 years ago, 1990 in Georgia” from ajc.com


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 15: Baldwin Lee’s “Black Americans in the South”

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


Baldwin Lee and “Black Americans in the South,” 1984

After studying at MIT and Yale, Chinese-American photographer Baldwin Lee took a backroads expedition through the South in the 1980s. The link above is to Lee’s website, and below is one of six short videos on YouTube on the cmaweb channel that have Lee talking about his work in Mississippi, Louisian, and South Carolina.

“Photographing Black Lives in America’s South” in Time magazine, 2015

excerpt: “Baldwin Lee’s inspired work from the mid-1980s deserves to be known by a larger audience. It is the result of a keen talent and intellect working with discipline, passion, concern, and risk. The neglected world he describes has perhaps vanished by now, but it is my hope that his unique images along with his words will find a publisher and enrich our understanding of what photographers do.”

“Baldwin Lee’s unblinking views of the South” in The Virginian-Pilot, June 2012

excerpt: “Baldwin Lee journeyed into unknown territory in 1982 after taking a job in Knoxville, where he founded the photography program for the University of Tennessee.”


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera 11: the skateboarding edition

tidbits, fragments, and ephemera is a usually weekly but not always, sometimes substantial but not making any promises glimpse at some information and news related to Generation X in the Deep South.


“Rodney Mullen – Freestyle Contest Oceanside 1986” on YouTube

This nearly-five minute video shows skater Rodney Mullen in a contest in Mississippi. This was one of his many wins in freestyle contests like this in the 1980s. Mullen is a legendary skater who was originally from Gainesville, Florida.

“Old School History of Skateboarding in Lafayette, UNCUT EDITION,” from 2012

This 10,000-word full version of an article that appeared in The Independent Weekly in 2009 offers a lengthy narrative about skaters in Louisiana from 1970 through 1990. The blog Psyouthern, where the article is posted, has as its subtitle “Deep South Blasting.”

“Skateboarding in Birmingham, Alabama (1995 – 2000)” on YouTube

This three-minute video shot on an old camcorder shows a group of skaters doing tricks, falling down some, and also getting run off by a sheriff’s deputy at the courthouse.

“Early 90s Old School Skating (Atlanta, GA 1990 – 1993)” on YouTube

Similar to the one above: three minutes of skating, this time in Atlanta.

“Old School Skateboard Contest 1987 Greenville, SC” on YouTube

Rather than live video, this is a slide how of pictures from a skate competition that appears to have taken place on a rural two-lane road.


level:deepsouth is an online anthology about growing up Generation X in the Deep South during the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s. The anthology is open to submissions of creative nonfiction (essays, memoirs, and reviews) and images (photos and flyers), as well as to contributions for the lists.