The Question of Dixie

By  |  August 14, 2018
“General Beauregard Dixie Vodka Set to March Across South” announced a September 25, 2013, press release. One hundred and fifty years prior, when P. G. T. Beauregard marched toward Charleston, he fought to preserve the economic system that shackled black Southerners and made possible extraordinary white Lowcountry wealth. This press release raised the question: Why march now?

—John T. Edge, “Dixie Vodka”

John T. Edge, the director of the Southern Foodways Alliance and author of The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South, has served as an Oxford American food columnist since 1997; under the shingle “Local Fare,” he interrogates trends, profiles innovative figures, and upends assumptions (sometimes his own previous assumptions) with passion, style, and intelligence. In his latest column, “Dixie Vodka,” he explores the implications of marketing the South, and whether words like Dixie are “necessarily malign.” 

For this video, filmmaker Ethan Payne interviewed branding executive Lavon Lewis, writer and editor Mike Jordan, and Darren Grem, associate professor of History and Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi.

Camera/Sound/Edit: Ethan Payne
Special Thanks: John T. Edge, Darren Grem, Mike Jordan, and Lavon Lewis
For more, read “Dixie Vodka” by John T. Edge, published in the Summer 2018 issue.

Ethan Payne is a musician, documentary filmmaker, and photographer living in Atlanta, Georgia. His work has been featured in ArtsATL and the Bitter Southerner, and his “Soundies” series has heralded acts such as Punch Brothers, Chairlift, and Dr. Dog.