"Southern women — unlike women from Boston, Des Moines or Albuquerque , are leashed to history." Editor Alison Glock wrote those words in a 2011 essay for Garden & Gun.
The piece, titled "Redefining the Southern Belle" got more responses than anything she'd written in her nearly 30-year career. Much was positive, some not, but all opening up further exploration of what a "Southern woman" meant then and now.
The discussions that followed led to a new book, Southern Women: More Than 100 Stories of Innovators, Artists, and Icons. It's a book of portraits and interviews with artists, innovators and entertainers like: Reese Witherspoon, Oprah, Dolly Parton and Beyoncé. A number of names you may not know yet and odes to women who made the South the South are also included.
Amanda Heckert is deputy editor at Garden & Gun. She co-edited Southern Women and spoke with On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott about what defines a Southern woman.
Dr. Valerie Montgomery Rice also joined the conversation. Montgomery Rice is the president and dean of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. And Georgia-based artist and activist Euneika Rogers-Sipp chimed in. Rogers-Sipp is principal and founder of Destination Design School of Agricultural Estates. (DDSAE) She's also co-founder of the Digging Dubois Project, a social enterprise based in Atlanta that focuses on rural community revitalization and design in American agricultural districts.
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