Patriot

Patriot

A professor begins one of your classes with a lengthy indictment excoriating the right wing crypto-fascist bullshit underlying America’s ongoing battle between “legal” and “moral” obligations. While you couldn’t agree more with the sentient-- hell, you even have a copy of Solzhenitsyn in your backpack-- he decides to elucidate his argument, by using the case of waterboarding as the example par excellence.

Read More

Oath Keepers seek 'warrior class' in North Carolina

Oath Keepers seek 'warrior class' in North Carolina

While Oath Keepers identifies itself as “libertarian” and “constitutionalist” — a seemingly awkward fit with Trump’s flamboyant authoritarianism — the militia network is unmistakably aligned with the new president, fielding what they call “roving security teams” at Trump’s inauguration.

Read More

Becoming a safe haven: Baltimore and the arrival of immigrant youth

Becoming a safe haven: Baltimore and the arrival of immigrant youth

“It’s crazy because you’re not entitled to legal representation in immigration. It’s not like you get a public defender... I’ve seen kids petrified up there. I’ve heard stories of kids going by themselves, and they can’t even talk sometimes in front of the judge."

Read More

Two poems: "All the Punks Become Libertarians" and "Horse Poem"

Two poems: "All the Punks Become Libertarians" and "Horse Poem"

The horses we now call the mustang—no relation to the cars my father & I would test drive but never find the money to buy—no longer need to trace their roots back to the original Spanish horses in order to be called mustangs. They just need to be wild & on federal lands. It’s comforting—not needing to prove a name to have it.

Read More

Fishin' & pickin' with Larry Keel

Fishin' & pickin' with Larry Keel

Keel’s a flat-picker who has shared the stage with greats like Tony Rice, Vassar Clements, Sam Busch, the Yonder Mountain String Band, Del McCoury, the Grammy award-winning Infamous Stringdusters, and New Grass Revival founder Curtis Burch. Since he was a child, fishing and music have been interwoven.

Read More

Atlanta and the politics of the losing South

Atlanta and the politics of the losing South

Like a Greek epic, a Shakespearean play, a William Faulkner novel or a Sunday morning sermon that gets folks to say “amen” and “well,” the long-remembered lessons of pride, hubris, and eventual disappointment that dot Southern history came back again on a February evening in Houston, Texas.

Read More

Southern boxes

Southern boxes

Being Southern-adjacent meant being able to visit family who spoke in dialect so reminiscent of the only Caribbean accent I could identify that I once asked my mother if we were Jamaican. It meant visiting my grandmother’s house, where the woods were pregnant with quiet, and the sky was brilliantly lit in its darkness by heavy stars.

Read More

Soul and ice: finding P.K. Subban’s Nashville

Soul and ice: finding P.K. Subban’s Nashville

While the social landscape shifts under their feet, thousands of Nashvillians are attempting what residents of Memphis and other southern cities undergoing similar changes have tried. They have turned to sports and entertainment as their unifying force. The “I Believe in Smashville” mural painted on the side of Bridgestone Arena, the Preds’ home and the loudest arena in hockey, mirrors the “I Believe in Nashville” ones found in other parts of the city.

Read More

Two poems: "My God on the 9th street of Colored Town" and "Beneath a Child of Sun"

Two poems: "My God on the 9th street of Colored Town" and "Beneath a Child of Sun"

This body is an heirloom from my God who’d stay in Overtown

when he visited. A God who picked his women

from the trumpet tree. Somewhere in the Harlem of the South

is the woman who’s voice was velvet, 

who’d cook so good there were saxophones in it.

Read More

Growing up gay in Alabama and finding myself in S-Town

Growing up gay in Alabama and finding myself in S-Town

The landscape laid out in S-Town’s seven episodes is one that I’m intimately familiar with. I grew up 3 hours south of Woodstock, in the slightly larger town of Enterprise. Bibb County, where S-Town takes place, was my throughway between home and college. The portrait that S-Town paints, not just of the people but of the place itself, is so lively and so honest that it feels almost intrusive. It feels like S-Town knows my own memories too well.

Read More

Two poems: "The Going Away" and "The Herons & the Catfish..."

Two poems: "The Going Away" and "The Herons & the Catfish..."

The past is rust, as oxidized: whatever clings
     to our conversation, back-&-forth of friends,

six pack of Miller High Life, Camel cigarettes
     if we quit quitting again. Back in this town

blessed by OxyContin & black tar heroin
    the coach still calls shit plays from his gridiron

Read More

If you've never shot drugs, you ain't got a clue: Steve's story

If you've never shot drugs, you ain't got a clue: Steve's story

"This is a dangerous undertaking. You have to go to where the people are. I had to go into dope houses to bring stuff to people who needed it the most." In our Spring 2017 issue, we published the remarkable, first-person stories of two advocates who've spent years fighting for the humane treatment of drug users in North Carolina and elsewhere: Steve Daniels and Louise Vincent. Here's Steve's story.

Read More

A letter to Black mamas

A letter to Black mamas

For Mother's Day this year, Southerners On New Ground (SONG), a regional queer liberation organization focused on the South the South, made a simple, transformative request of its members, its communities, and its affiliate organizations: Bail Black mamas out of jails.

Read More

Harm reduction is compassion, harm reduction is love: Louise's story

Harm reduction is compassion, harm reduction is love: Louise's story

"I wouldn't wish [addiction] on anyone.... [What we do,] It's harm reduction. We meet people where they are. I have to remember to meet people where they are as far as coming to accept harm reduction as well. It doesn't just work one way. I have to remember that it took an experience, being in Atlanta in The Bluff, working in the most devastated community and it came to me all at once: this is exactly what we're supposed to be doing. This is compassion. This is love."

Read More

Acts of remembrance

Acts of remembrance

Twelve and a half million Africans shipped forcibly to the so-called New World from 1525 to 1866 in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. At least two million died en route—by murder, suicide, illness, exhaustion, shipwreck—their bodies occupying the bottom of the Atlantic. These are facts that I know like I know the geography of my last name, and that gravity is indifferent to the movement of ocean tides—no matter who they carry away.  This is a story of remembrance.

Read More

North Carolina's strange election

North Carolina's strange election

North Carolina’s partisan politics are moving—like the nation’s—toward the extremes. The power “redistribution” orchestrated by North Carolina’s GOP flies bluntly in the face of American traditions of democratic rule and respect for electoral results. But it was hardly a flash in the pan: the laws were only made possible by a skewed district map guaranteeing overwhelming Republican control of an evenly split electorate; they follow logically on a longer-term project by state conservatives to redefine whose votes count. Disregard for the messy business of democracy is a practiced habit: having crept into the state’s margins years ago, it had worked its way to the government’s core. As the same tendencies worm their way onto the national stage, it is critical to understand how North Carolina’s democracy came undone.

Read More