Skip to content
Vol. 28, No. 2: Sanctuary


Vol. 28, No. 2  //  summer 2022

In our summer 2022 issue, Southern Cultures grapples with the complexities of the South as a place of refuge and possibility.

Table of Contents

Respite, Refuge, and Remembering

by Regina N. Bradley
My grandparents’ house on Hardup Road in Albany, Georgia, was my first understanding of sanctuary. Our house was not in Albany proper; we lived past the city limits in Dougherty County. Planting and grazing fields flanked us on three sides of our yard. And each trip “in town” was a mini-quest: my Paw Paw Eugene’s »
Photo Essay

Walking with Ella Watson

Photography, Interiority, and the Spiritual Church Movement in the Work of Gordon Parks

by Jovonna Jones
In 1942, Ms. Ella Watson of Washington, DC, spent her summer nights in the halls of the nation’s capital, where she had been working for twenty-six years. The government charwoman went to work at 5:30 p.m. in federal buildings, cleaning floors, toilets, and such, then heading home by 2:30 a.m. On one of these nights, »

Otherwise Possibility

by Ashon Crawley
“I use paint, ink and canvas, paper and other surfaces to visualize that which remains after my body moves to the sound of the music and of praise, to more fully consider residue—lingering—that escapes capture.” Learning about Life and love in the spiritual space of Blackpentecostalism, I was able to sense the world by paying »

Of Clay and Wonder

by Chérie Rivers Ndaliko
“He listened ravenously to our every answer, listened as if his life depended on it. And that, it turns out, is precisely the thing: it does.” Like so many reckonings, mine began with a seemingly innocent question. “Mama,” he asked, “where are we from?”

What Love Looks Like in Public

Mutual Aid Makes for Sustainable Communities

by Sharon P. Holland, Tiz Giordano
Winter 2021. It is bitter cold on the edges of the holler where we live in central North Carolina. A polar vortex moves through the Piedmont and extends itself into Charlotte. The voices of loved ones ring in my ears. We need more solidarity pledges. We need a lawyer. We need more fair housing. We »

A Place to Sigh

Dawn Williams Boyd in conversation with Margaret T. McGehee

by Dawn Williams Boyd, Margaret T. McGehee
A few years ago, my mother suggested we go see an exhibition of cloth paintings at the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford College, the small liberal arts college in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where my late father had worked from the early 1980s to 2007. The exhibition was entitled Scraps from My »

Queer Sanctuary on the Borderlands

by Joel Zapata
“Eight hundred miles or so west of the South Texas border, I also found the perfect place for me.” During the summer of 2009, I arrived at the El Paso–Ciudad Juárez borderplex as a teenager seeking sanctuary. I did not arrive from south of the border as most Americans might imagine but from the Texas »

A Felt Need

Elmer Beard and the Enduring Legacy of Roanoke Baptist Church

by Jajuan S. Johnson
“‘We don’t get where we are without a cost. Freedom is never free. So, we saw the church go up in flames and fall down in ashes.’” After a year of considering my interview request, Elmer Beard was ready to tell the story, but on one condition: we must meet at the church. For Beard, »

Unearthing the Sacred

Padre Luís Jaramillo's Archival Resolana

by Antonio José Martínez y Miera, Theresa J. Córdova, Karen R. Roybal
“Over four decades later, the existence of this archive allows us to contemplate and discuss what light these resolanas of the past shed on our present. It provides an important opportunity for collective memory to speak.” Over a decade ago, I was trained in preservation and digitization at the Center for Southwest Research (CSWR), and »


by Gris Muñoz
They’d long forgotten to dance—mis abuelos,rigid as the simple white wooden screen door that snappedopen and shut into grandma’s kitchen Apache and Mexicanthey’d both long forgotten to dance—long forgotten any songslong forgotten the fire On Christmas Evemy grandpa and uncles would build a bonfirefrom broken wooden pallets and jagged three-legged chairs or tables,they’d douse them »
Other Issues