I finished reading "Bloodroot" the other night and yes my friends, I cried a little at the last few pages. These characters will stay with me for some time that is for sure and Amy Greene is making me work harder at my craft. I have decided to turn the novella, into a novel, Godspeed for me. But this post is not about me writing, it is about history.
I have an unusual fascination with Appalachia history. (The word is pronounced like "Apple-at-cha." ) I say unusual because I have no connections via ancestors nor have I lived there. There is something intriguing about the folks lore, the foods, the life of that area. America loves the Wild West. Cowboys and Indians and gold rushes. That is not for me. I find Native American culture interesting, but I am far from a Western gal. Give me my NYC/NJ Italian heritage and Ellis Island, but also give me our Southern heritage.
One movie that I love in regards to Appalachia is Songcatcher. It actually deals with a musicologist who researches and collects Appalachia folk music in western North Carolina. She lives amongst the people and her genuine respect and interest in them wins them over, though there are rough patches. I recommend it even if for the the music alone.
I have spoken of the blog The Blind Pig & The Acorn before. Wonderful storytelling throughout and there is also music.
Backcountry Notes is fascinating and gives one quite an education.
A historical education.
America is a vast nation and because of that, we don't really get to know every nook and cranny of our land in the classroom. You learn your own state, general revolutionary and civil war history all the way up until now, but the layers that make up America? You are on your own. Not that I am complaining, but unless you have a natural curiosity, there is much that is easily missed in this world. I am naturally curious, so I am lucky. I have an interest in other cultures and foods, but I also find our own American cultures interesting. We should be exposed to Gullah culture, Appalachia culture as well as all the dialects throughout our nation and where they originate from.
I am sure there are advanced US History courses in college that cover these sort of topics, but I think grammar and high school kids should have the opportunity to find our nation's diversity captivating. This is simply because these cultures are alive and around us and most important is that they should be given a broader audience.