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Southern politics

An open letter to Spelman College: Denounce Cop City Now

"As a school founded for formerly enslaved women, for Spelman to offer any support to the institution born of slave patrols is an insult to their legacy."

While the HBCU boasts a commitment to Black gender-oppressed people, alumni say that destroying a critical ecosystem to invest millions in police terror is the highest degree of antiblackness.

How 'the shadow of state abandonment' fostered then foiled Young Thug's YSL

Atlanta's YSL (Young Stoner Life) project has been about place-making as much as it's been about making music. But what happens when the state interferes?

There's a deep connection between policing and "urban renewal" in Atlanta. Through the state's various strongholds, including the police, transforming urban space always ends up taking some communities off the map entirely. YSL (and Young Thug) might be the next big casualties.

Cop City, Gentrification, and Young Thug: Atlanta's uneven war over greenspace in 'The City of the Forest'

The ongoing YSL trial that swept up a suite of Atlanta rappers from Young Thug to Gunna reveals how gentrification under the guise of urban renewal and the police state sustain each other.

The police's war on working-class Black life and culture in Atlanta works in tandem with the city's encroachment on un- and under-developed neighborhoods—and the green ecosystems standing in the way of gentrification.

Illustrated: The South isn't so anti-abortion after all. Kentucky proved it at the polls.

A mother-daughter artist duo spoke to three activists to illustrate how organizers pulled off an electoral win for abortion in a red, anti-abortion state.

Activists across Kentucky organized voters against an amendment that would have prevented a right to abortion or abortion funds in the state constitution. In illustration, meet three folks who were part of the movement to defeat Amendment 2.

Blue County, Purple State

In Orange County, North Carolina, midterm preparations illuminate both liberal and conservative fears about voter intimidation, election security, and the struggle for the future of the swing state.

While the county might remain an uphill battle for Republicans, North Carolina as a whole is a political toss-up.

Arts & Soul

grief & other loves: National Poetry Month workshop series

Join us for a series of writing workshops with poets across the South to gather in community and struggle to find the words together.

Poetry can be a practice of grief: messy, personal, reaching, revelatory. This National Poetry Month, Scalawag is taking 'grief and other loves' on the road.

Grief and Love, Outside the Changes

Jazz Vocalist Nnenna Freelon on Black love, grief, and her album 'Time Traveler'

Six-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist and host of the podcast "Great Grief" Nnenna Freelon discusses love, death, and growing through the changes on her first album in about a decade.

Bookmobiles to the rescue

In the state with the most book bans, Texas mobile librarians and booksellers are bridging the access gap.

In 26 states, students' access to books in school is under attack. Texas leads the nation with 16 districts enacting 713 individual bans.

Race & Place

These Muslim men are disrupting cycles of homelessness after prison

Job insecurity, housing discrimination, and disability affect many people returning home from prison. Add being a Muslim in the Bible Belt, and the challenges become even more difficult.

When Baquee Sabur, who is Muslim, knocked on a shelter door looking for a safe place to sleep, he said they tried to turn him away because of his faith. Now he runs his own transitional housing for Muslims in Texas.

Everything (Queer) Everywhere All At Once

Although the film focuses on queerness and alternative universes, the awards season darling still props up the nuclear family and agents of the state—even as the constructs fail the Wangs.

Despite its villainization in Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's box-office hit, queerness thwarts the story's central themes of limitations under capitalism and xenophobia.

Long reads

Essays & Letters

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