Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used to Be

Steven Hale
5 min readFeb 14, 2020
Bryant’s Minstrels (without blackface). Photo: Library of Congress

Unless you’re a white southerner.

Have you ever returned to a place from your childhood? Chances are, the present reality seemed smaller, duller, less magical. Thomas Wolfe told us “You Can’t Go Home Again.” But he was wrong, and as a white southerner, he should have known better.

You can go home again — if your present and your past are both illusions.

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Steven Hale

Music: Discovering the lost and forgotten. Politics: Exposing injustice. Screenwriting: Emotional storytelling.