Eating Dirt, Searching Archives
How does one respond to the history of a place that has eagerly consumed its violent pasts at the expense of Black life? This question became particularly relevant in April 2018 when the city of Sugar Land, Texas, unearthed the remains of ninety-five former convict laborers on the grounds of a former sugar plantation turned prison farm. "Eating Dirt, Searching Archives" speculatively plays with a history of Sugar Land that does not rely on the city's industrial legacies. Instead, this essay turns to dirt as the archive of Texas's invisible Black geographies. Dirt is theorized as a means of preserving Black Texas life and memory alongside the difficulty of Sugar Land's violent pasts.