This summer I am diligently writing and editing my dissertation so that I might complete it and begin work on other scholarly and ecclesial projects. My hope is that the pedagogy I develop can be formed into many different tools and methods for remembering the values and heritage of rural communities in new ways.
I am writing from and about rural Burke and Cleveland Counties.
What I continue to find is the complaints by those who believe the past was better than the present that the new generation is immoral, lazy, lacking in work ethic, and failing to live the life they should be living. Various racisms, stereotypes, and prejudiced remarks are often knowingly and sometimes unknowingly included.
From the people who believe the outside is better than the inside, I hear that there are no jobs here. I hear that its not worth trying. I hear that when they do have jobs they are treated poorly by those who cling to the past. I hear they aren’t paid well by their jobs. I hear that old people are keeping the town in the past and not looking to the future.
Both of these are strong opinions which intersect and conflict. My writing looks at these and hopes to be able to reorient both opinions toward a more constructive rethinking of the future.