A Southern accent, at least in Hollywood, has always been code for stupid and bigoted. So when a study some years ago announced that an Appalachian dialect was amazingly close to Elizabethan English, it caused no small amount of area pride. We weren't backwards, we were Shakesperean!
Geitner Simmons takes a look at some mis-history by going to 19th and 18th century sources. It's not long and it's fun history.
Even though I have lived my whole life in the South, and have a father who is from Georgia and Florida, I constantly get asked where I'm from. I had almost no Southern accent growing up and only have a mild one today after years of working at it. My mother is French-Canadian, and my father was a banker who erased his accent to speak in basic Midwestern television-news English. Use of "y'all" in their home was ruthlessly quashed.
I'm better now. And even more strange, my mother never did teach us French.