Jeff South

Jeff South

Jeff South retired after 23 years as a journalism professor at Virginia Commonwealth University. Before that, he was a newspaper editor and reporter for 20 years in Virginia, Texas and Arizona. He can be reached at [email protected].


For Confederate bases, name changes are long overdue

By: - June 7, 2022

For decades, nine U.S. Army bases have carried the names of men who fought against the U.S. Army – in a war waged to defend and perpetuate the slavery of people of African descent. These military installations, all in Southern states, were named to honor such figures as Gen. Robert E. Lee, who commanded the […]

Across cultural lines, home schooling has boomed since COVID-19 hit

By: - January 3, 2022

For Isabel Bishop, 12, and her 8-year-old brother, Bodhi, school might mean a trip from their home in Fairfax County to the Harriet Tubman Museum in Maryland to learn about slavery and the underground railroad. For Mali Holmes, 7, of Richmond, school might mean playing chess with friends and developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. […]

As fatal drug overdoses continue to rise in Virginia, new record could be set this year

By: - November 24, 2021

Virginia is headed toward another record number of drug overdose deaths, which experts blame on social isolation and stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread trafficking of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. Drug deaths in the commonwealth increased 22 percent during the first half of this year compared with the corresponding period of 2020, […]

Since virus hit, Virginia school enrollment has slipped nearly 4 percent

By: - November 23, 2021

Enrollment in Virginia public schools dropped again this fall and is down more than 46,000 students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The official headcount of students statewide plunged from 1,298,083 in fall 2019 to 1,252,756 in fall 2020 — and then dipped again to 1,251,970 this fall, according to data posted online by […]

Karen’s out, Kobe’s in, and Charlotte and Liam are No. 1 for Virginia baby names

By: - May 13, 2021

Charlotte replaced Ava as the most popular name for girls born in Virginia in 2020, and Liam remained the most popular name for boys, according to data released Thursday by the Social Security Administration. This was the first year that Charlotte had topped the state’s list of names for female babies. As recently as 2002, […]

In purge of Confederates, Virginia plans to rename Camp Pendleton

By: - January 20, 2021

Camp Pendleton, the state military reservation in Virginia Beach named for a Confederate general, likely will be renamed soon. Next month, a panel of state officials plans to recommend a new name for the Virginia National Guard training facility, which was named for William Nelson Pendleton, a Virginian who served as Gen. Robert E. Lee’s […]

Pandemic triggers ‘enormous’ spike in drug overdose deaths

By: - November 18, 2020

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, fatal drug overdoses have exploded in Virginia, and health officials are predicting “the worst year on record by far” for such deaths in the commonwealth. From January through June, at least 1,086 Virginians died from overdoses of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, prescription opioids and other drugs, the state medical […]

Virginia’s student privacy law may undermine census count

By: - August 24, 2020

Talk about the law of unintended consequences. In 2018, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation blocking the release of addresses and contact information for students at the state’s public colleges and universities.  Republican Del. Tony Wilt of Harrisonburg carried the bill after the progressive political group NextGen Virginia, using the Freedom of Information Act, obtained […]

Census faces distrust, language barriers and a new deadline

By: - August 11, 2020

On July 15, Cara Burton, the director of the Eastern Shore Public Library, took an hour-long ferry to Tangier Island to find out why people there feel as if they shouldn’t count. Burton chairs a committee urging residents of Accomack and Northampton counties to complete the 2020 census, which is supposed to be a headcount […]

Virginia apartment manager ends screening policy barring renters with minor convictions

By: - July 28, 2020

A company that manages about 1,700 of apartments in Northern Virginia has agreed to stop automatically rejecting any applicant with a criminal conviction no matter how old or minor — a policy that fair-housing advocates said discriminated against Black and Latino renters. As a result of a lawsuit filed by Housing Opportunities Made Equal of […]

‘The bedrock of wealth inequality’: Data shows big racial disparities in mortgage loans and homeownership

By: - July 21, 2020

Spring Cambric knows what she will be thankful for this Thanksgiving: the home she is buying with help from Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity. The single mother of four plans to move into her two-story, iron-gray house in Northside Richmond this fall. “I love it because it will be ours — something that my children can […]