The South… What is it? Movies, books, songs, myths and legends have tried to explain this part of the United States. SouthBound, a new podcast series from WFAE, talks to people who were born and raised in the South. Hosted by journalist Tommy Tomlinson, SouthBound features conversations with notable Southerners from all walks of life – from artists and athletes to preachers and politicians.
“For those of us who were born and raised here, the South will always have a hold on us. I want to explore that hold, I want to find out how the South shapes who we are and what we do,” said Tomlinson, a native Southerner who was raised in Georgia and has lived in Charlotte for 30 years.
The name SouthBound was chosen for its double meaning -- southbound, in terms of a journey to the South, and South-bound, in terms of the things that tie us to this place.
“I want to get beyond that first impression that people have for one another. I found that the more you talk to someone, the more they become who they really are, and that’s a more interesting place,” said Tomlinson. “I hope by having conversations that extend for a little while that we get to those interesting places and the audience can hear that conversation developing. Get to those moments I’ve always loved getting to as a journalist and having people hear it happen.”
Tomlinson has written for publications including ESPN the Magazine, Sports Illustrated, Forbes, Southern Living, Garden & Gun and others. He spent 23 years as a reporter and local columnist for the Charlotte Observer, where he was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize in commentary. He teaches magazine writing at Wake Forest University. His memoir “The Elephant In the Room,” about life as a fat man in a growing America, will be published by Simon & Schuster. He’s a graduate of the University of Georgia and was a 2008-09 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.