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“It has taken me a lifetime to discover that true emancipation lies in the acceptance of the whole past, in deriving strength from all my roots, in facing up to the degradation as well as the dignity of my ancestors.” Pauli Murray

What does it mean to be from, to live in, and/or teach about the American South today? The region is a geographical entity, an expanse of complicated history, a place in the imagination, and the homeland of diverse and distinct people and cultures. The American South is often shrouded in romance and myth, but its historical and modern day realities are complex. As an epicenter of Southern studies, UNC-Chapel Hill launched the Teaching the American South initiative in 2017, featuring two main resources:

“Tales of the American South” – A Fulldome Film at Morehead Planetarium

Through an innovative partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for the Study of the American South and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, audiences can now immerse themselves in a brief story of the South’s past, present and future in the Planetarium’s fulldome film, “Tales of the American South.” Funded by the Kenan Charitable Trust, the UNC Office of the Provost, and Mr. John Powell, the 26 minute fulldome show provides stunning visuals, voices and music, situating and immersing the audience in place and time.

For information about the film or to schedule a screening, contact

Resources for Teaching About the American South

To accompany the film, and also to serve as a stand alone resource, Carolina K-12 maintains a website featuring resources to help teachers deepen student understanding of the complexities of the region’s past and present. Visit the website at

The site is commonly updated with new material, but is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all topics and concepts to be covered when teaching about the American South. As we continue to create materials for aspects not currently included in the film and/or curricular materials, please continue to consult additional resources as well. For questions or ideas for lessons, please contact