In this Issue
By Steve Suitts
Vol. 2, No. 1, 1979, pp. 2
This issue brings Southern Changes full circle with its first anniversary. Because it has matured in format, and we hope, coverage of events and issues, the magazine has been greatly benefitted by the first year’s experiences.
As a chronicle of the ongoing struggle for equality, Southern Changes apprpriately begins its second volume with a concern for the status of Blacks in 1979. In the Soapbox piece, Vernon Jordan sets the tone in his thoughts on the Black agenda for the 1980s. Jordan believes that the next ten years must improve the nation’s record of achieving a society where race is not a dividing fact since in the last decades we have failed.
On the same issue, our cover story for this month reminds us of the historic beginnings of many of today’s most pressing controversies. A small community of farming Blacks on the Georgia coast struggle to regain land taken from them in World War II for “the national interest”. The fight of families to regain their land and heritage at Harris Neck is a vivid illustration of how past wrongs ought not — cannot — be seen as a mere history without contemporary importance.
We can also see a little too much of ourselves or neighbors in our article on the continuing saga of the modern Ku Klux Klan. Although limited, KKK activities have spread to all parts of the region and may show more about the present status of race relations in what sentiments they echo than the outright racism they exude.
In another article Steve Hoffius takes a look at an employment and training program in South Carolina that is giving some Black and White women a chance to enter new jobs. It is a story of how the changing nature of the South can be one of progress and new opportunities.
Our department pieces include a new section on the comings and goings of Southerners of note and a review of the North Carolina legislature’s performance in 1979. As we said last year, we continue to see in ourselves, our region, and our nation “the opposing qualities which make living in the South exciting and worrisome.”