Bucking a southern trend, Memphis rap stays in its lane

Bucking a southern trend, Memphis rap stays in its lane

“Dreams of pop stardom have typically missed excellent Memphis artists. Recognizing this, Memphis rappers today do not even try to fit themselves into the commercial pipeline, aim for major label deals, or pursue focus-grouped ad campaigns. If they can make it well enough as independents, why start to divide up those checks? The result is a conservative streak in the way Memphis rap skips crossover appeal and instead turns out music that is almost proud of its bluntness.”

Read More

Queer love and struggle in Jackson, Mississippi

Queer love and struggle in Jackson, Mississippi

Off the overgrown trench of Eubanks Creek, there is a shoebox-rectangle building with airconditioning units peeking from the rooftop. Five opaque, painted windows glow under lights wrapped around the awning: red, yellow, green, blue, and purple. This is a code, if a bit on the nose. With no other sign, it is all that welcomes you to Wonderlust, one of Jackson, Mississippi’s few remaining LGBTQ nightclubs.

Read More

Your neighborhood midwife, Afua Hassan

Your neighborhood midwife, Afua Hassan

Be honest: When you picture a midwife in 21st-century America, you probably picture a White woman with White clients. And the natural-birth movement really is overwhelmingly White. So it's important to hear the story of Afua Hassan, the only Black woman in the whole Houston metro area who owns her own midwife practice.

Read More

Fighting to save a gentrifying East Nashville

Fighting to save a gentrifying East Nashville

The storyline of Nashville is a familiar one in the New South: The economy is booming. Construction is constant, and cranes have become a near-permanent fixture in the skyline. But with that transformation comes upheaval. The displacement caused by rising rents and hungry investors is on clear display in East Nashville. Who's fighting, and what's at stake?

Read More

What kind of landscapes should we build in the South?

What kind of landscapes should we build in the South?

A new addition to the Museum Park at the North Carolina Museum of Art tests what's possible when Southern places get remixed—and underscores the importance of memory in places always at risk of becoming just another yesterday.

Read More

How do you beat plantation power?

How do you beat plantation power?

The Black residents of Lowndes County—over 70% of the population—are (still) beholden to the priorities and interests of White landowners, who now control their futures from faraway cities, rather than from plantation estates next door.

Read More