Southern Gallery: Tom Petty

Goodbye, Tom Petty. Revisit this chatty, informal, fun interview with the rock legend from Oxford American’s 2000 Southern music issue.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jul 15, 2000
Length: 15 minutes (3,849 words)

The Socialist Experiment

The mayor of Jackson, Mississippi was transforming his city through cooperative economics, to create a model for a new, more equitable society for black Americans. His rallying crying: “Free the land!” His plan: get black progressives into elected office, and empower through independence. Then he died. The plan did not die with him.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Sep 5, 2017
Length: 48 minutes (12,205 words)

After Oranges

Fifty years after New Yorker writer John McPhee published his slender study Oranges, one writer traces McPhee’s story down to Florida to assess the state of American citrus and the peculiar nature of this enduring book.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jun 14, 2017
Length: 27 minutes (6,974 words)

Palm Beach Van Dyck

A “willingness to flout the laws of space and time” help painter Ralph Cowan form relationships with the kind of people who will pay for a portrait of themselves with a lion, at the mast of a ship, or gliding through a Venetian dreamscape.

Source: Oxford American
Published: May 2, 2017
Length: 15 minutes (3,781 words)

A Town Under Trial

What an unsolved double murder in Kentucky reveals about America’s military-industrial complex.

Author: Nick Tabor
Source: Oxford American
Published: Mar 2, 2017
Length: 57 minutes (14,490 words)

The Keepers of the Light

New Orleans’s complicated history with the Mardi Gras flambeaux — the (usually black) torch carriers who, for years, lit the way for the festival’s (usually white) parades.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Feb 23, 2017
Length: 31 minutes (7,820 words)

The Garden of Refugees

The story of Eh Kaw Htoo, a Karen refugee from Myanmar — a man who “extolled the redneck’s work ethic” — helping to build a community of 150 Karens who sustain one another by living frugally and sharing the bounty of the land in the rural community of Comer, Georgia.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jan 30, 2017
Length: 8 minutes (2,222 words)

Sweet Bitter Blues

When an American writer visits Tokyo to see a Mississippi Blues musician perform, she tries to figure out why Japan has a particular fondness for American Blues, the ways cultures metabolize each other, the place of Black America in Japan, and the complex forces that draw foreign people, and their music, together.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Jan 6, 2017
Length: 24 minutes (6,217 words)

Stay and Resist

Unlike many of her white Southern literary contemporaries, the writer Lillian Smith ignored easy magnolia-scented tropes in her work in order to confront the divided, racially charged heart of the American South.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Oct 13, 2016
Length: 25 minutes (6,454 words)

Mystic Nights

After Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize win, it’s worth revisiting some of the early artistic efforts that got him there. Here’s a detailed account of the recording of his masterful 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, with all that record’s first scrapped attempts and captured 3AM magic.

Source: Oxford American
Published: Oct 1, 2007
Length: 26 minutes (6,606 words)