I grew up in a town called Saltville Virgina and I lived there until I was 27 years old. I have an accent that is unique to the Appalachians. I am proud of my heritage and the older I get the more angered I become with the stereotyping of Southerner’s. I grew up on a farm, I had pigs, chickens, horses and a variety of other animals. It was a struggle for our family just to keep ourselves fed. I grew up hard and poor, the community, the church all of these things were instrumental in my upbringing. I learned how to can food (instrumental for survival of a zombie apocalypse), I learned to shuck corn, to feed baby animals who were motherless. I learned to take care of other people and to care when I see someone hungry. I learned life is hard and you have to strive to make it. I learned to make good grades so I can go to school and learn how to better my life and my community. When I go home and I see kids who are dirty and skinny from hunger I do not think they are idiots because of the way they speak, I think of them as future go-getters, the kids who will work even harder than I did to survive. I worked in factories to put myself through school. I made steering gears, and I boxed rich people’s fancy Estee Lauder make-up, and I survived.
My Great Grandfather rode the trails with Jesse James, and stole chickens during the depression. He built the Hungry Mother State Park on a work program from Roosevelt to end his families hunger. Every time I am a candidate for a job and I get blown off after the telephone interview I have to wonder “was it my accent?”
Katniss is from the Appalachians and like a good citizen she learned the lessons that are offered with that upbringing. How to survive, how to reach for more than what life gives you and I am appalled that Hollywood wants to take that away from her by changing her accent. This article from USA Today shows you that Kristen Stewart and Chloe Moretz are the likely candidates to play Katniss. At this point I would take Miley Cyrus just for her accent!
The article that inspired this rant: Why Can’t Katniss Have an Accent: The Role of the Southerner in American Children’s Literature.