It takes more than good intentions to transform the South. It takes money.
What the hell is a Scalawag?
Wow y'all. Scalawag has been living this summer! Although we've been around for 5 years, 2019 has been the year of the glow-up! We're editing, we're writing, we're restructuring, we're partnering, we're piloting—and then we thought, wouldn't it be great if we were also partying. Enter Jubilee!
Last month we celebrated the release of Issue 16 and the launch of our membership program in three of our favorite Southern cities: Durham, Birmingham, and Atlanta. Check out the photos and see who celebrated Jubilee better.
BEST DANCE PARTY: Durham
In an ill-lit basement of a back-alley bar in Durham, 100+ folks drank, danced, and celebrated. Performance artist Monet Noelle Marshall commandeered the club with a truly arresting original work about the labor of Black women and society's debt to them. Monet demanded the audience move past the self-centering emotion of guilt to the productive work of gratitude. She left us all speechless. But with tunes by creative powerhouse Gemynii, things didn't stay quiet for long. There was juking, jerking, percolating, and some making out. Definitely the best—and tipsiest—good old fashioned party of all our stops. But we expected nothing less from the hometown crew.
2. MOST BELOVED COMMUNITY: Birmingham
Oh Birmingham! Definitely the team favorite. Y'all showed up hot and ready… and by that we mean on time and eager to support us with coin! We signed up the most new members at this Jubilee, held in the long and narrow Domestique Coffee headquarters replete with vintage furniture, an old record player, and a retro bike. The smallest crowd, but the deepest bonds. We realized that Birmingham already possessed so many close-knit intergenerational relationships weaving artists, activists, journalists, businesses, and neighbors together, but y'all made us feel right at home. Andy's portraits, Katherine Webb-Hehn's storytelling, RyNea's impeccable dance music repertoire, Salaam Green's poems, ssheeesh! We made friends here.
3. COOLEST VIBE: Atlanta
The Jubilee with the coolest vibe has to go to Atlanta. I mean, we had a live muralist and a tattoo artist doing FREE body art in one of Atlanta's most iconic bars in one of Atlanta's most iconic hoods. Yeah, I'm sorry. It was that fly. Our largest turn out, our Blackest/Brownest crowd, our Sunday fun day, our day-party to end all day-parties. I mean who doesn't like drinking, partying, coming home with a free tattoo, and being in bed by 8 p.m? With our partners Southerners on New Ground discussing the work of queer Southerners for abolition and reproductive justice, and our friend Masud Olufani educating the crowd on the local history of architectural racism in downtown, we decolonized and then we got down! We were so excited to be able to participate in the dynamic arts culture of this city. We'll definitely be back on our worst behavior.
We'll be back in these three cities soon, so if you missed out this summer, you can still meet our crew and celebrate in person with music, art, food, booze, and of course news.