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 13

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.


“50 years ago, the color barrier was broken for Alabama”, July 16, 2021

excerpt: “Still, it was 1970 before Wilbur Jackson became the first Black player to receive a football scholarship from Alabama. Jackson first played in the 1971 season and rushed for over 1500 yards at Alabama [ . . .] Jackson is a native of Ozark, AL where the mayor has ordered a soon to be completed 86-foot mural of Jacksoncelebrating the 50th anniversary of his accomplishment.”

“Burrell Children. Mississippi, August 1976.”

This photograph by African American photographer Ronald L. Freeman is part of the photography series Southern Roads/City Pavements, held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The series is available on online, so other photos of Mississippi in the 1970s are available, too. His work can also be viewed on the website of the Ogden Museum.

Hurricane Hugo hits South Carolina, 1989

Herschel Walker wins the Heisman, 1982

In the 1980s, the Deep South (so, the SEC) had two of the greatest running backs in football history: Auburn’s Bo Jackson and Georgia’s Herschel Walker. The conference produces many great players, but these two stood out even among that group.

Dash Rip Rock in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame

Founded in southern Louisiana in 1984, Dash Rip Rock was inducted in the LMHOF in 2012. The band had a hit in the ’90s with “Let’s Go Smoke Some Pot” and is often lumped into the subgenre “cowpunk” or “country punk.”


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.

Seeking submissions of… (images)

Not everybody wants to sit down and write something. But that shouldn’t stop you from contributing to level:deepsouth, if you want to. The images section is for sharing digitized versions of old photos, flyers from shows, ‘zine covers, artwork . . . One important part of this project is publishing stories about the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s in the Deep South, but there’s also room for photographers and artists to include images of what was going on back then. (And don’t worry about bad hair and embarrassing outfits— we all looked like that.)

To know more about how to submit, check the guidelines.