Southern Winds

Published By: iuniverse

Book Category: Non-Fiction, Biography & Autobiography

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Reviewed by Barbara Broom

Southern Winds by W. Everett Beal (who I believe to be in his 70s) is one Southern gentleman's experience growing up and living in the south. Beal begins his journey with the arrival of his ancestors from Scotland and continues with his immediate family in Valdosta, Georgia and then moves on as an adult to Griffin, Georgia.

Beal honestly and courageously discusses the good and the bad of the south and of the heritage he acquired through being born "Southern." That heritage included segregation, integration and all of the issues surrounding the change that descended upon his world in the 1960s.

There are moments Beal lovingly recalls his boyhood adventures, the cultural songs and games, as well as the love and respect he felt for the black men and women who cared for his family and their property. However, other times the experience of integration, though acknowledged as right, was confusing and perceived as allowing no time to accept the change. What had always been accepted as "the way it was done" was no longer acceptable or appropriate.

This is an interesting and personal view of a culture that is closed to those who have not been born into it. The treatment of black people—thought acceptable, even seen as benevolent by white folks—is at times painful to read. The difficulty of change can be seen as the author continually refers to black people as "coloreds." I didn't feel that he was using the term in a derogatory manner (though others might perceive it to be so), I just felt that that is the way it always has been. Beal writes about the way things are when most people only have the courage to think it. Anyone wanting a first-hand account of Southern life in turbulent times should read Southern Winds.

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