So much of our national culture—food, music, dance—has come from the South. Where would American dance be without Jane Brown? Where would American music be without Robert Johnson, the Delta blues player? Where would American modern food be now if you didn’t have grits and fried chicken and biscuits on every menu around the country, from fine dining restaurants to fast food establishments?

But what happens if these cultural expressions become so generic as to no longer be associated with anywhere in particular? Lolis Eric Elie explores.

Dig deeper with these resources:


Elie, Lolis Eric. Smokestack Lightning: Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2005.

—. Cornbread Nation 2: The United States of Barbecue. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2009.

Lundy, Ronni. Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2016.

Reed, John Shelton. Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2008.


Late Hour Blues – Mance Lipscomb

Trouble In Mind – Chubby Wise

Down Yonder – Chubby Wise

Give It Up – Dr Michael White

Algiers Hoodoo Woman – Dr Michael White

Big Chief – Professor Longhair

Daydreamer – Los Hombres Calientes

Blues for the 29%ers – Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

Symphony in Riffs – Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Orchestra

Star Spangled Banner – Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Orchestra

Find additional resources here.