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Old 05-16-2007, 11:43 AM
 
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mpope & Houstoner: Well, you guys would know better than I would, those were just my impressions from visiting. Houston felt like the southern cities of Miami (where I used to live) and New Orleans (where I have visited) to me in many ways (weather, topography, culture of the natives), but Dallas didn't.

I see what you mean about similar racial demographics. I guess it seemed like Houston was more like a southern city in that it has long had a large black population (like Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans). I don't know about Dallas's racial history, but I thought the black population there had grown more recently, more like many midwestern and northern cities (i.e., since WWII). True?

 
Old 05-16-2007, 12:10 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,455,026 times
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False. Because I'm both busy and lazy: http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/.../AA/pkaan.html and http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/...s/DD/hdd1.html

Last edited by houstoner; 05-16-2007 at 01:14 PM.. Reason: added another link
 
Old 05-16-2007, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houstoner View Post
Your brusque reply notwithstanding , thanks for the interesting links, houstoner. I had forgotten about Juneteenth day, even though it is celebrated by blacks here in Mpls/St Paul every year, as many of the local blacks here have roots in TX.
 
Old 05-16-2007, 04:51 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
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I PMed you, Ben Around.
 
Old 05-17-2007, 01:00 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, MO
3,742 posts, read 6,907,044 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisvilleslugger View Post
Now honestly, I do see why you’d think it has a Midwestern under-culture, but it is a major city. The same argument, I assure you, can be made of New Orleans, Atlanta, Charleston. Major cities have major immigration, and people from all over the country--and the world--make their homes there. Sad as it is, it has shown its effects on the cities, but I assure you, at Louisville’s core, is the South. It has even been said that during the darkest days of the war, Louisville had more “Johnny Rebs” and “Southern Belles” than the entire state of Mississippi. As an historian, I might be inclined to believe that. Having mentioned Southern Belles, you’d be well advised to note Sallie Ward was a Louisvillian. Her portrait is often named “The Southern Belle.” That is because she was THE Southern Belle in the ante-bellum days. More Scarlett O’Hara than Scarlett herself! Literally, she was considered THE belle of the South! None of that is even mentioning that, as someone else noted, Louisville is a river city, giving it all the more reason to intermingle cultures. Nonetheless, to the trained ear, one can hear the traces of Southern accents in downtown Louisville, and thick as molasses accents among some of the older residence. Step outside the city limits--you can no longer judge the South by its cities. Anyone who lives in a Southern city will note the changes over the years. They’ve become melting pots, good or bad! Oh, and what is Louisville’s nickname? You don’t know? Let me tell you, “Gateway to the South!” That’s a take on its old days as a river port, and its being a Southern city, noted for two great Southern pastimes, horseracing and bourbon!

From a cultural geography perspective the usual northmost line of Southern cultural influences in the lower Midwest is US 40, so it might be more accurate to consider southern Indiana and Illinois more southern than it would to consider Kentucky Midwestern. The Southern Focus study referenced earlier seems to confim the Southern character of Kentucky. About the only part of the state that could be considered Midwestern are the three northern counties across the river from Cincinnati.

Louisville is probably a bit more unusual in that it has aspects that are not traditionally associated with the South. In terms of historical aspects the city was settled by Virginians, and then recieved a large immigration from Germany and Ireland. Unlike other Midwestern cities it did not experience input from the second immigration from southern and eastern Europe to any signifigant degree, and lacks any historical "ethnic neighborhoods" that characterize true Midwestern cities like Dayton or Fort Wayne or South Bend. Louisville has experienced in-migration from the rural areas of central and western Kentucky (the areas directly south and west of the city), which has reinforced its southern character in modern times, which reinforced the southern character of the local working-class.

Louisville was and is industrial, but that is not necessarily a marker of being a Midwestern anomaly in a southern region, as numerous southern cities have an industrial base, such as the textile cities of the Carolina Piedmont. Louisvilles industial development was part of the New South, and marketed to the South, and its leading newspaper editor of the postbellum era, Henry Watterson, was considered an expontent of the New South ideology. During the postbellum era the L&N Railroad, headquarted in Lousiville, was a major carrier into the deep South, terminating at Pensacola and New Orleans, and painted its locomotives "confederate gray".

Another aspect of Louisville that gives it a historical and modern Southern character is the experience of slavery. Louisville did have a large slave population (one of the largest), and slaves were used in industry (44 worked for one company), building trades, steamboat trade, and as household servants. During the Jim Crow era Louisville did segrate blacks and whites into seperate school systems, and event tried to enact ordnances restricting blacks to certain neighborghoods (found unconstitutional by the USSC). One did not see this type of legal Jim Crow elsewhere in the Midwest. Some of the residential patterns of black settlement also paralled other urban south centers. In Midwestern cities blacks settled in older inner city neighborhoods, but in Louisville there was a tendancy for blacks to settle on the urban periphery, originally in Smoketown, but later in neighborhoods like Little Africa (later Park Duvalle) and in the Wet Woods (the Newburgh Road area). This pattern is similar to that identified by Harold Rabinowitz in his "Race Relations in the Urban South", where freed slaves formed settlements on the edges of Southern cities (which is quite visible in Lexington, too).

http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/images/slave_census_US_1860_b.jpg (broken link)










The aspect of religion as a indicator of southern cultural character is also key as Louisville is a center of the Southern Baptist faith, with a large seminary in town. Baptists vie with Catholics as the largest denomination in the city. You will not find a Midwestern city ouside Missouri (one county in Kansas city) that has a signifigant Baptist population. Louisville however does.



The Bible Belt

If it's worth mentioning Richmond Va (former capitol of the Confederacy) has a larger Catholic population than Louisville. While Texas has always had a large Hispanic Catholic population, the cities of San Antonio and Galveston, Texas were hot beds for German Catholics. It should also be noted that Louisville German and Irish in migration was to a MUCH less degree than St.Louis and Cincinnati, so much less that Louisville's blacks will be the largest ancestry in the city within 2 or 3 years.

Louisville like every other Southern city lost black population during the first black migration North. This is quite the opposite in St.Louis and Cincinnati, in which this played a major role in the building of the cities we see today. St.Louis especially was a hotbed for black migrants, which was the complete opposite for Louisville, being steeped in Southern culture and idealology.

http://www.uic.edu/educ/bctpi/greatmigration2/dataviewer/usa/USAleftcolumn.html (broken link)

http://ucdata.berkeley.edu:7101/rsfcensus/graphics/blkp10_00.gif (broken link)

Here are two excellent sources showing how Louisville and the South in general held the highest concentration of blacks until the migration.

The physical character of the city is more southern to me. The common vernacular housing of the older pre-WWII city is not like that in other Midwestern cities, where one sees the use of one or two story houses or cottages (sometimes duplex apartments) with the gable end facing the street. Louisville uses the very Southern shotgun house, as well as other forms that are appear to be unique to Louisville, such as a variation on the foursquare. For post WWII building, there was the continued popularity of neoclassical or colonial revival in developer housing. Even the local version of the ranch house sometimes uses wrought iron on the front porches as a sort of generic reference to "New Orleans/River City".

All of the following sources label Louisville and Kentucky as Southern in terms of dialect.

Southern

accent example http://www.acoustics.org/press/141st/south.wav



http://www.uta.fi/FAST/US1/REF/images/dialectsus.gif











In terms of pop culture, there is that popularity of deep fried fish and seafood, and hush puppies, in local fast food chains. Fairly banal but you dont get hush puppies up north. Ultimatly this is all anecdotal, but from my time in Louisville, compared to Chicago, Louisville is quite southern to me. I really do not see the Midwestern aspect in the city. The place seems to identify more with the South, and feel more southern, than even close-by Midwestern cities like Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

http://www.pfly.net/misc/GeographicMorphology.jpg (broken link)

Here is a cultural map created by this nations most reknown geographer D.W. Meinig. He draws the Southern boudary line through Southern the Southern ares of Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio, So obviously Louisville is safely tucked below that line (not saying that it doesn't have Midwestern influence). If you notice however the only Midwestern cities that remotely compare to Louisville (Cincinnati and St.Louis) are litterally on top of the Southern cultural boundary, obviously suggesting that those cities are heavily influenced by the South. Again I'm aware that Louisville has Midwestern influence, however it does not top the Southern influence.

I don't buy Cincinnati and St. Louis being on top of the Southern boundary for even one second. Cincinnati maybe moreso than St. Louis because it is on top of the Mason-Dixon, but Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky honestly seem more like transitional points between the north and the South. Being a resident of St. Louis, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that St. Louis is not on top of the northern and southern cultural boundaries. From where we are located the MAson Dixon is over 100 miles to the south of us, and honestly I don't notice anything distinctly southern until maybe around Sikeston, where sweet tea appears and you really start to hear heavy Southern accents. Southern Missouri is more of an area unique to itself than it is with any Southern or Midwestern state. You kind of actually see a combo bf both. Drive along I-55 and you get your classic Midwestern scene combined with kind of a scene out of Appalachia, which, btw, I do not consider Southern, however I also don't consider it Northern. You see barns, rolling grassy hills and cornfields mixed in with these huge cliffs. that's not something you see in any of the South. Even in Perryville, MO which is well into Southern Missouri I heard mostly Midwestern accents, and Catholicism seems to be far more dominant there than Southern Baptism, which I didn't see any of. Catholicism also is the dominant religion in Missouri. Missouri may have been borderline Southern at one time, it's not anymore. i also don't buy West Virginia being Southern either, it honestly seems to be a state full of everything. I will agree that Louisville and Lexington seem Southern in persona, but there is a noticeable amount of Midwestern culture there as well . I hear a good mixture of speech patterns in these cities and even notice the accents tend to be much more plain. Louisville has the appearance of a Midwestern city. It looks like a rustbelt city to me and honestly since it is right on the OHio River and so close to Cincinnati, which seems predominantly Midwestern to me, it just doesn't make any sense to say that Louisville and Lexington should be considered just part of the Upper South. There is noticeable overlap in these cities....there is Midwestern cuisine combined with Southern cuisine pretty much in the northern half of KY. i'd say that pretty much heading South of these cities is where it really starts to seem like the Kentucky that everybody portrays. Speech patterns and culture and landscape become distinctly Southern south of these cities...that's when you begin to notice similarities to Tennessee. Driving north on I-75, WHen you enter Lexington honestly it really seems vastly different from the rest of the South and honestly you start to see rolling hills and fields more atypical of the Midwest. Along I-64 through Kentucky, which I have driven all of, it really seems to be a combo of everything...Appalachia, the Upper South, and the Lower Midwest. Also, U.S. 40 is not the boundary for Northern and Southern culture, you don't know what you're talking about I live right off that highway. Interstate 64 maybe beginning at Mount Vernon is where I've noticed a bit of everything begin to appear. Honestly, most of I-64 south and east of St. Louis through Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky seems to be a bit of everything. It's a rough estimation. U.S. 40 is definitely not the cultural boundary of the Midwest and South, it is solidly in the Midwest where that is concerned. Cincinnati and St. Louis are not heavily influenced by the South, that is a load of crap especially by today's standards. Everything you'll find in these two cities honestly you'll find in Indianapolis and Columbus.

Last edited by ajf131; 05-17-2007 at 01:09 PM..
 
Old 05-17-2007, 08:18 PM
 
301 posts, read 1,266,774 times
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[quote=ajf131;731978]
Quote:
I don't buy Cincinnati and St. Louis being on top of the Southern boundary for even one second. Cincinnati maybe moreso than St. Louis because it is on top of the Mason-Dixon, but Louisville, Lexington, and Northern Kentucky honestly seem more like transitional points between the north and the South. Being a resident of St. Louis, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that St. Louis is not on top of the northern and southern cultural boundaries. From where we are located the MAson Dixon is over 100 miles to the south of us, and honestly I don't notice anything distinctly southern until maybe around Sikeston, where sweet tea appears and you really start to hear heavy Southern accents. Southern Missouri is more of an area unique to itself than it is with any Southern or Midwestern state. You kind of actually see a combo bf both. Drive along I-55 and you get your classic Midwestern scene combined with kind of a scene out of Appalachia, which, btw, I do not consider Southern, however I also don't consider it Northern. You see barns, rolling grassy hills and cornfields mixed in with these huge cliffs. that's not something you see in any of the South. Even in Perryville, MO which is well into Southern Missouri I heard mostly Midwestern accents, and Catholicism seems to be far more dominant there than Southern Baptism, which I didn't see any of. Catholicism also is the dominant religion in Missouri. Missouri may have been borderline Southern at one time, it's not anymore. i also don't buy West Virginia being Southern either, it honestly seems to be a state full of everything.
The city of St. Louis is in the state of Missouri, a state that in it's early history was considered Southern (remember Mark Twain). Misourri does have certain demographics that are directly attributed to their early early history as a slave holding state. The Prime example of this is the Little Dixie area of the state. This area once held the majority of the states slaves and strongly resembled the old South. To this day the area know as little Dixie (in the heart of the state) has an above average percentage of rural African Americans which is found no where in the Midwest (with the smaller exception of the former slave holding region of Southern Illinois/Little Egypt). The Bootheel region of the state is also considered Delta because it's large rural african American population along the Mississippi.

It should be noted however that Missouri was a slave state that held relatively fewer slaves than just about every other slave holding state (with the exception of maybe Maryland and Delaware). St. Louis has more the many aspects braken away or simply never resembled the rest of the state. A prime example of this is the large German population it recieved during early the migration period. One thing that gets St. Louis considered by todays standard is it's black population. While it was a city that was on the recieving end during the Great Migration North, the influx of Southern blacks seems to have had a major affect on the city especially linguisticly. While Missouri's blacks don't have a tradtional "Southern" dialect their dialect is easily distinguishable from the rest of the Midwest. This is really apparent in modern day rap culture ( which is a major factor in the black population)

here are a few tracks from St. Louis rappers compared to a few other Midwestern rappers

Chingy

http://www.mp3.com/artist/chingy/son...om_clk=arttabs

Nelly

http://www.mp3.com/artist/nelly/song...om_clk=arttabs

Jibbs

http://www.mp3.com/artist/jibbs/summary/

Other Midwestern rappers

Kanye West

http://www.mp3.com/artist/kanye-west...om_clk=arttabs

Common

http://www.mp3.com/artist/common/son...om_clk=arttabs

Eminem

http://www.mp3.com/artist/eminem/son...om_clk=arttabs

While you've acknowledged that Catholism is more dominant than Baptist in the Missouri, you fell to realize that Missouri is the only Midwestern state that has such a large Baptist population. So large that is almost on par with Southern states like Virginia. You will also see the claim that Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana are heavily or even more Southern than Midwestern with this map, along with dialect maps, and the cultural map I produced earlier.







Quote:
I will agree that Louisville and Lexington seem Southern in persona, but there is a noticeable amount of Midwestern culture there as well . I hear a good mixture of speech patterns in these cities and even notice the accents tend to be much more plain. Louisville has the appearance of a Midwestern city. It looks like a rustbelt city to me and honestly since it is right on the OHio River and so close to Cincinnati, which seems predominantly Midwestern to me, it just doesn't make any sense to say that Louisville and Lexington should be considered just part of the Upper South. There is noticeable overlap in these cities....there is Midwestern cuisine combined with Southern cuisine pretty much in the northern half of KY. i'd say that pretty much heading South of these cities is where it really starts to seem like the Kentucky that everybody portrays.
While Louisville might be just up river from Cincinnati, you must remember that the Gateway city to the South is on the opposite side of the Mason Dixon Line from Cincy. The Mason Dixon Line definantly applied it's meaning during the Great Migration during the earlier part of the century. Louisville like every other Southern city lost black population cities like St. Louis and Cincinnati gained black population. Despite being just up river from Cincinnati Louisville has a large Baptist population, which is found no where in any Midwestern city.

Unless you consider almost having an entire section of your town (the just about all of the West End) being comprised on shotgun houses (distinctly Southern), Then I don't see much of an argument for the appearance of the city being Midwestern.

Archtiecturally Louisville's first suburb Old Louisville with it's wrought iron, huge fountains, huge Magnolias looming over the streets and Victorian style architecture that are found only in the most prominent Southern cities of the 19th century like Charleston, New Orleans, Savanah, and even Richmond, NOWHERE in the Midwest.

As far as Rustbelt being exclusively Midwestern argument here's a source that ranks Rustbelt cities by their populatiuon decline and ironically Birmingham, ALABAMA ends the list off, while there is no Louisville in sight.




Quote:
Speech patterns and culture and landscape become distinctly Southern south of these cities...that's when you begin to notice similarities to Tennessee. Driving north on I-75






These linguistic maps state otherwise


Quote:
WHen you enter Lexington honestly it really seems vastly different from the rest of the South and honestly you start to see rolling hills and fields more atypical of the Midwest.




Oh well I've never really got that impression from the flat cornfields of the plains, or the area surrounding the Great Lakes. Another arguments is that Louisville and the rest of Kentucky are all located within the humid Sub Tropical climate range (which is the Southern climate range). I believe Missouri is to.

Quote:
Along I-64 through Kentucky, which I have driven all of, it really seems to be a combo of everything...Appalachia, the Upper South, and the Lower Midwest. Also, U.S. 40 is not the boundary for Northern and Southern culture, you don't know what you're talking about I live right off that highway. Interstate 64 maybe beginning at Mount Vernon is where I've noticed a bit of everything begin to appear. Honestly, most of I-64 south and east of St. Louis through Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky seems to be a bit of everything. It's a rough estimation. U.S. 40 is definitely not the cultural boundary of the Midwest and South, it is solidly in the Midwest where that is concerned. Cincinnati and St. Louis are not heavily influenced by the South, that is a load of crap especially by today's standards. Everything you'll find in these two cities honestly you'll find in Indianapolis and Columbus.[/
I would definantly consider Appalachia, a mountain chain that streches into Ky, Va, Tn, Nc, Sc, Ga, and Al as compared to Pa, and Ny (northern states) to be more Southern than anything else don't ya think?

http://www.pfly.net/misc/GeographicMorphology.jpg (broken link)

U.S. 40 cuts off the only areas of the Midwest with large Baptist populations (So In and Il), it cuts off the only areas of the Midwest with rural African American populations (little Egpyt and Little Dixie along with the Mo Bootheel). The area South of the route is often considered to have Southern dialect (or one distinct from the rest of the Midwest). Factors like this cannot simply be put aside to make statements such as "it being solidly Midwest". This is also reflected on the cultural map I've posted. Believe or not my argument is backed with sources yours is based on your own subjective and somewhat biased (an attempt to be labled anything but Southern) opinion.
 
Old 05-17-2007, 08:31 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,455 posts, read 7,302,914 times
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Thank you, Louisville, for your very interesting and source filled posts
 
Old 05-17-2007, 08:36 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
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"St. Louis has more the many aspects braken away or simply never resembled the rest of the state. A prime example of this is the large German population it recieved during early the migration period."

Louisvilleslugger--Also interetsing on your Baptist map that the St. Louis metro counties have so FEW Baptists. St. Louis's heavily Catholic heritage is well-known.
 
Old 05-17-2007, 09:01 PM
 
301 posts, read 1,266,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Around View Post
"St. Louis has more the many aspects braken away or simply never resembled the rest of the state. A prime example of this is the large German population it recieved during early the migration period."

Louisvilleslugger--Also interetsing on your Baptist map that the St. Louis metro counties have so FEW Baptists. St. Louis's heavily Catholic heritage is well-known.
Oh yeah that's definantly a big indicator that St. Louis has characteristics that differ from the rest of the state. That statement was kind of tied with the statement I made about the huge German population that they recieved.
 
Old 05-17-2007, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Lakewood, CO
353 posts, read 378,516 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisvilleslugger View Post
Oh yeah that's definantly a big indicator that St. Louis has characteristics that differ from the rest of the state. That statement was kind of tied with the statement I made about the huge German population that they recieved.
St. Louis--midwestern to the core.

Louisville--mostly southern. When you're in parts of downtown with the Ohio River and huge Catholic parishes you can get a feel for the midwest. But in the suburbs and most of the city it is unmistakeably southern.
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