I thought this was a very interesting clip about the origins of the American Southern accent. Apparently, we're the only people left in the U.S. that still sound like the first generation of settlers....most of whom were from the U.K.
I quit being ashamed of my accent years ago (as a teenager my friends and I worked hard to try and not sound Southern...without much success!). It's part of who I am; if anyone thinks it makes me sound stupid or uneducated, that's their problem. Down here we sound like our ancestors:
Origins of the American Southern accent