By Elizabeth Aydlette, Dobbin Johnson and Amy Pollmann
Being from Riverdale, Georgia, Teria Tate characterized Southern identity as “to have a drawl, and eat certain foods,” but said that she doesn’t always feel like she fits this image.
Because Tate has a Northern father and a Southern mother, she feels more Southern when visiting family in the North, she said.
“It just depends on where I am if I’m considered Southern.”
Tate works with high school drop-outs to help them obtain their GED diploma and further their education, because poverty is a limiting factor in her Macon neighborhood, she said.
“Now that I’m more aware of the poverty issues, it makes me want to stay in this field longer than I anticipated.”
Tate said that she feels like poverty is not limited to the South.
“I have some family that may be considered to be living in poverty in the North,” said Tate.
Tate doesn’t believe that the South will change within ten years.
“In the North, everyone is kind of cohesive, but in the South, because of our past, I think it’s created these pockets.”
Yet, Tate said that racism is not only in the South.
“I think everywhere, things are just being more exposed.”
Tate said she is fully aware of how people define the South, but doesn’t necessarily agree that there can be a true definition.
“Stereotypically there can be, but nowadays I feel it may not be as focused on those aspects as it used to be,” she said.