Front of house.

Day 1 & 2: The Dirty South

Travelling down interstate-95 dotted athwart the pine tree rich panorama in North and South Carolina like blisters on an adolescent’s face is Trump/Pence 2020 insignia, advertisements lamenting you to yield your life to Jesus, big bold signs for adult entertainment and conspicuous manifestations of the confederate battle flag. Welcome to the dirty south.

The dirty south trip born out of COVID that left travel to St. Lucia delayed for at least two years.

The Dirty South is a term of affection for the area of the United States that includes much of the former Confederacy; includes southern Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, northern Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and eastern Texas.

Day 1: Driving To The Dirty South

The juxtaposition amidst the deep religiosity of the south and the sham anecdote of the lost cause and a racist president as I wander further south toward the bastion of indifference is mildly discomforting.

Day one of the journey was essentially filled with watching the asphalt on I-95 roll by and maintaining a watch-full eye on the bikes strapped to the back of the SUV as we plummeted towards Charleston, South Carolina. An added reward was marvelling at the billboards on I-95 as we sped by. Once settled into the hotel, the evening concluded with supper at Barsa a tapas joint in Charleston. If you are into tapas, this should be your primary dinner station.

The early bird intercepts the worm, and on day two, I had to catch the sunrise on the Isle of Palm, near downtown Charleston. Since my early youth in Mayaro, I have unceasingly felt more at peace near the seashore. There is something about the fresh air and the cadence of the waves collapsing on the shore; the serenity of it all beckons me.

Day 2: Charleson, South Carolina

On Sullivan’s Island in South Carolina and near Fort Sumter is Fort Moultrie. Fort Moultrie is a group of fortifications on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, built to protect the city of Charleston. The first fort, formerly named Fort Sullivan, built of palmetto logs, inspired the flag and nickname of South Carolina, as “The Palmetto State”. 

Signage at Sullivan’s Island

According to historians, Sullivan’s Island was the apex of insertion for roughly 40% of the 400,000 enslaved Africans brought to British North America, between 1619 and 1808. Meaning that 99% of all African Americans have ancestors that came through the Island. This is a tragedy of historic consequences.

Wandering about Fort Moultrie and gazing beyond the dingy waters at Fort Sumter in the distance, I sensed the misery and hopelessness for the West Africans on those vessels hijacked and extradited to the New World.

Sullivan’s [Island] not only served as a quarantine station, but also as an important military outpost in the defense of Charleston both in the American Revolutionary War and the Civil War

A Brief History of Sullivan’s Island

The remainder of the second day in the dirty south was spent at the beach and dinner in down town Charleston.

Click here for more adventures on The Dirty South Road Trip.

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