Salt, Soil, & supper
We will gradually nurture and prune this space with seasonal offerings of narratives from the South that center holistic conversations about Southern climate justice and resilient cultures, alongside critical explorations of Southern geographies, migration, agriculture, foodways, and food justice. Prepare yourselves for a hearty helping of Salt: Preservation, Soil: Growth and Recovery, & Supper: Nourishment.
The devastating storm that hit New Orleans in 2005 killed nearly 2,000 people and displaced thousands more. For those who survived Hurricane Katrina, the trauma they still carry reveals the long shadow of environmental racism on Black mental health.
Salt has long given humans and their environments the capacity to preserve, and with it, the ability to grow communities, to travel further and to sustain. This capacity to live longer, more secure lives is in large part due to the way salt has long "kept" food, resources and the human body itself against the threat of expiration.
The soil is essential for the growth of that which nourishes and preserves communities, spirit, and our cultures. The "soil" section honors the ways in which Southerners work against the longue duree of the plantation to restore and build alternative support infrastructures. Just as Black and Indigenous land stewards have developed practices to restore, protect and defend the soil and other natural resources that make growth possible.
The weather bears witness: On calamity, rebirth, and Blackness in the face of climate crisis and the chaos of the natural world. "Perhaps in every wind roaring, in every storm raging, our ancestors are not only watching over us, but watching out for us."
Supper asks and answers: what feeds the South? How does the South feed us? And what are the conversations happening around the table that nourishes Southern critique?
In the wake of callous government responses to the 1927 Great Flood, Black musicians from the Delta produced their own deluge: An outpouring of songs testifying to the destruction wrought along the Mississippi. Nearly 100 years later, not much has changed.