About the only thing about the upbringing that wasn't Southern, in fact, was the address. Flint might seem a part of the South only if you were standing in, say, Green Bay or Duluth. But Coburn says Flint was a destination for the mass migration of Southerners — including his paternal grandfather, from the southern Missouri town of Hornersville — who landed in Michigan's urban centers in the mid-20th century, lured by jobs in the auto industry. So in Flint, Coburn was surrounded by neighborhoods like Little Missouri, kids who had family back in Tennessee or Florida, and neighborhoods, like the one he grew up in, that were built to resemble the rural towns the people had left behind.
I've already blogged about Detroit's Little Appalachia. The theme of that post is the kind of regions that emerge from historical geographies. The scars of the Great Migration are still evident.
The same should be true of the Not-So-Great Migration out of the Rust Belt. As the tide of people continues to recede, what will be the Northern imprint on Southern communities? I have a hard time imagining a significant landscape legacy.