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"[T]ry to tell me the wind don't speak?" In a time in which we are constantly being bombarded with the erasure and belittling of survivors, from structural to gendered violence, we hear from two unstoppable poetas, Ariana Brown and Maria Lucas, who answer to another source of power: their inheritances of ancestral knowledge and magic. "For I am the prime source everything / evolves through me" writes mother and poet Maria Lucas in "Bruja."

Read more from 'This Work Will Take Dancing' here.

Introductions

i'm ariana &

i've been conquered.

child of mexico, africa, usa-

i have someone else's name.

i was born in a cemetery.

in 1848, frederick douglass

wrote an article condemning

the us conquest of mexico.

i went to the alamo

on a field trip once.

my uncle's dream

is to own land. his

facebook photo

is him atop a horse. this

is not a joke. a border

blew through me, hooked

my grandmother's tooth, dragged

the bones of laredo south

across the river. my grandmother's

hometown is built on the bones

of her ancestors. pride is

a strange violence. my

grandmother's country

had a black president

in 1829. last name guerrero,

meaning 'warlike,' 'soldier.'

my father was in the air force.

he died flying.

try to tell me the wind don't speak?

my father died before i was born.

i talk to everyone's ancestors.

i'm a cotton twirler, shape

shifter, gravedigger. my

curandera says 'the earth can

transform anything'.

i be buryin' shit all the time.

Bruja

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Ariana Brown

Ariana Brown is a queer Black Mexican American poet from San Antonio, TX with a B.A. in African Diaspora Studies & Mexican American Studies. Dubbed a “part time curandera” Ariana is the recipient of two Academy of American Poets Prizes and is a 2014 National Collegiate Poetry Slam champion. When she is not onstage she is probably eating an avocado, listening to Ozuna, or validating Black girl rage in all its miraculous forms.

Maria Lucas

Maria is a mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She works for the DMV and has been writing poetry for over 10 years. “With my writing I hope to touch people’s lives and entice minds.” She has a collection of poetry called “Tears of a Clown” available on Amazon.