For the “Florida southern” writer, place takes on a complex meaning.
For instance, my hometown of Jacksonville was known as “south Georgia” when I was growing up because of the hostile racial attitudes of that segregated North Florida city. At the same time, the state was disparaged by Deep South southerners as a Yankee outpost because so many transplants from the North move here. I became a displaced immigrant who left the old world for the new as one of the first Black freshmen to enter the all-White University of Florida and I have lived an integrated, multicultural life ever since – but the new broom that swept through, ushering in the New South, also left us with emotional debris.
For a “Florida southern” writer, race is also a complexity.
It haunts our memories, clinging like red clay to walking shoes. It conjures up disturbing images as nagging as a squeaky porch swing. It stirs us to pull our chairs up closer to the table when the topic comes up in conversation, determined to get our two cents worth in, and leaves us with a sense of unfinished business, full of questions, always wanting more.
For some “Florida southern” memories of growing up and living in the multicultural South and lessons learned checkout my Race AND Change blog. The memories are sure to spark memories of your own. I invite you to share your stories and embark on your own writing journey as well.
#floridawriters #southfloridawriters #creativewriters #southernwriters #raceANDchange