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Featured // Vol 30, No 1

Meeting the Moment for Democracy

essay by Errin Haines
Editor's Picks
Guest edited by:
Errin Haines
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A selection of what our readers love, in all the forms we publish: scholarly articles, memoir, interviews/oral histories, creative nonfiction, photo essays, and shorter features.

A Look at
Our Past

Browse past issues and articles from the last 30 years
Recent Features
beep Food

Mudfish

by Zachary Faircloth
Misshapen paleozoic fish, atavist, tired of climbing the evolutionary ladder and waiting for a thumb or feet or the ability to breathe on land, one year you just stepped off and let the others pass you by . . . And do you ever wonder?—That is, what if you had climbed all the way to the »
beep Poetry

Sea Turtle Sonnet

by Zeina Hashem Beck
Our parents stayed during the civil war.Don’t say we escaped, just that we too failed.We left Beirut on the verge of collapse& revolution. That clearing of hope,where would we be without it? Ask Ziad,who put the city on a stage & laughedat its slow ways of killing us with pillsor memory. So many of us »
beep Essay

These Are Revolutionary Times

Back Porch

by Marcie Cohen Ferris
“The right to vote remains the most essential key to freedom and choice in all aspects of our lives.” As we move through these fraught days in America, watching with horror the incomprehensible destruction and death in Israel, Gaza, and Ukraine, I ponder if we are living in more historic, troubling times than generations before »
beep Essay

The South’s Democracy Struggle Reaches New Urgency

by Benjamin Barber
“The current iteration of voter suppression that has swept across the South has been met by renewed organizing efforts that remain determined to fully restore the Voting Rights Act and secure the promise of democracy.” The South has often served as the crucible for democracy, and in recent years, the COVID pandemic, new voting restrictions, »
beep Essay

The Rhetoric and the Reality of the New Southern Strategy

by Courtland Cox
“I think that white voters in the South are more nuanced than people think. I know that Black voters are more nuanced than folks think. And we have to begin to engage with the electorate in a different way because folks don’t want to engage with the South, but the South engages with you.” Courland »
beep Essay

Voting Rights in Georgia

A Short History

by Orville Burton
“[The 2020 Democratic victory] was the culmination of a century and a half of efforts by Black citizens in Georgia to be able to vote, and the first election in the state’s history when the power of white conservatives and the presumption of white supremacy were decisively defeated.” Before the enactment of the Voting Rights »
beep Essay

“White supremacy in North Carolina rests in woman’s hands”

Dr. Delia Dixon-Carroll and the Power of White Women Voters

by Angela Page Robbins
When women gained the right to vote in 1920, many southern suffragists worried about turnout. The antisuffrage campaign had vigorously questioned the wisdom of allowing women to step out of the domestic sphere, thereby upending conventional gender norms, and into the political sphere, where they might compete with men for power and influence. Dr. Delia »
beep Essay

“Blocks for Freedom”

Sewing for Voting in Post-Jim Crow Mississippi

by William Sturkey
“‘Blocks for Freedom’ helped dozens of poor Black Mississippi women fight for the right to vote—not with marches and sit-ins but through making clothes, selling lunches, and hosting concerts.” In 1966, two women from drastically different backgrounds launched an innovative campaign to protect African American women’s voting rights in Mississippi. Oberia Holliday was a thirty-four-year-old »
beep Essay

The Voting Rights Act beyond the Headlines

by Emilye Crosby
“It is tempting to think of universal voting rights as one of the fundamental pillars of our country, but access to the vote has been hard fought and remains under attack.” The Voting Rights Act (VRA), which was signed into law on August 6, 1965, was a significant victory for the Civil Rights Movement, southern »
beep Essay

Meeting the Moment for Democracy

by Errin Haines
Three days after I turned eighteen, my mom, who was born in Jim Crow Florida, took me to register to vote at the same precinct where I grew up watching her vote. The experience taught me at an early age that voting was my birthright, something adults—and Black women in particular—did as good citizens. I »
beep Art

Dawoud Bey’s Meditations on History and Vision

by Grace Elizabeth Hale
Dawoud Bey’s Untitled (The Light on the Trail) could be anywhere that is warm and wet enough to produce this tangle of plant life. But stay still in front of this photograph and really look.  Somehow all of the wild growth frames an opening. And inside that rough circle, the light spirals clockwise toward the »
beep Essay

The Uncanny Keep On Talkin’

Back Porch

by Regina N. Bradley
“Unsolved Mysteries was the portal to my imagination running wild, and fear was the pilot.” Wednesday nights were reserved for Unsolved Mysteries. A man’s disembodied voice warned viewers that we were about to watch something that “was not a news broadcast,” followed by a crescendo of synthesizers and Robert Stack’s gravelly voice and direct stare »
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