By Craig T. Ramey
I am a Southerner proud to claim my heritage. Southerners are complicated and diverse, yet we share and celebrate much in our common geography, culture and traditions. Like others, we have much that divides as well as unites us.
Our most abiding and corrosive divide derives from the stain of racism and its continuing legacy. The South was not alone in its conduct of slavery; slavery existed in New York, Philadelphia and Boston, as well as Charleston, Savanna and Mobile — in large cities and small towns alike. It was just more obvious in the South than in the North.
Ramey is professor and distinguished research scholar at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.