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Stories2021-07-07T10:46:28-05:00
2306, 2021

Why I don’t celebrate ‘coming out’ stories

By |June 23, 2021|

Each week the Honey newsletter includes a column from women and LGBTQ folks in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. We’re always looking for more stories from you. Click here to learn more about how to get published. By Kiwi Lanier For most people, coming out is nothing like it [...]

2106, 2021

‘What most kids need’: How one school community got SMART when its rural hospital closed

By |June 21, 2021|

The only hospital in rural Pickens County, Ala., closed its doors for good just two weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.  It was March 2020. The west Alabama county sits along the Mississippi state line, its landscape dotted with small towns. When the hospital closed in the county seat of Carrollton (pop. 1,000), Pickens County [...]

1606, 2021

The miseducation of Black, queer, southern youth

By |June 16, 2021|

Marginalized folx are often lauded as being brave, as if there is any survivable existence that doesn’t necessitate it. And so often, we are the only ones left to reconcile the cost of that bravery. Survival does not come without compromise.

1606, 2021

Need an abortion in Appalachia? ‘Holler’ at this West Va. group

By |June 16, 2021|

Holler Health Justice launched in 2018 to fund abortions in West Virginia and Appalachia. Since, its mission has expanded to include providing free emergency contraception and harm reduction services.  In 2020, the organization provided $111,415 in abortion funding and other support. The group dispersed more than 6,000 units of emergency [...]

906, 2021

Queer Cobbler: A recipe for being gay in the South

By |June 9, 2021|

Each week the Honey newsletter includes a column from women and LGBTQ folks in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. We’re always looking for more stories from you. Click here to learn more about how to get published. By Tyler S. Hatcher Preheat the oven. 350 is fine. [...]

306, 2021

Why the $300 child tax credit could be a step toward universal basic income — and happier families

By |June 3, 2021|

Next month, millions of American families will begin receiving monthly direct cash payments, and unprecedented foray into the idea of a universal basic income.  A new expanded child tax credit, part of the American Rescue Plan that Congress passed in March, will give low- and middle-income families monthly payouts of $300 per child under age 6 [...]

2505, 2021

How Chattanooga artist Ali Waller is casting sexual assault survivors in a new light 

By |May 25, 2021|

At an installation that’s recently toured the country, each plaster bust has a story.   The creation of Chattanooga-based artist Ali Waller, the “/200” project features 940 busts of women, including Waller herself, who are sexual assault survivors sharing their story through sculpture.   The 22-year-old artist started working with plaster in 2020 after seeing the “Filthy Rich” documentary series, which explained how Jeffrey [...]

1905, 2021

Dr. Ellen Eaton: Reading, watching, listening on COVID vaccines and teens

By |May 19, 2021|

Recently, COVID vaccines were approved for children ages 12 and up. Vaccines for younger children are under evaluation in clinical trials. But even for infectious disease experts, the amount of information available to parents about COVID vaccines can be overwhelming.  Dr. Ellen Eaton is assistant professor at the Division of Infectious Diseases at [...]

1805, 2021

Shariya Pryor: Reading, watching, listening on mental health

By |May 18, 2021|

Shariya Pryor is in the business of healing families. The 26-year-old Troy, Ala. native is a marriage and family therapist at Kaleidoscope Family Therapy in Atlanta, who specializes in self-confidence, attachment, depression, anxiety and life-transitions. Pryor was inspired join the mental health workforce as a preschool teacher. She found herself [...]

1205, 2021

Purity culture: Why the Josh Duggar case is about sexual violence not sin 

By |May 12, 2021|

The latest scandal involving Josh Duggar, a former reality TV star turned conservative political operative and business owner, highlights how patriarchy and purity culture allows abuse to continue unchecked, says a noted licensed psychologist and human sexuality expert.   Dr. Camden Morgante, who practices in Knoxville, Tenn., said the Duggar case is complex but shows how several myths of purity culture play out in real life.  [...]

1005, 2021

These young docs know how to fix the South’s rural health crisis. Will anyone listen?

By |May 10, 2021|

The rural healthcare crisis is not new, but it is particularly pronounced in the South.  Rural areas are less likely to have enough primary care physicians. Rural residents also tend to be poorer, according to the National Rural Health Association.  More than half the nation’s rural hospital closures since 2010 were in the South. Many of those are clustered [...]

505, 2021

I like my queerness southern fried

By |May 5, 2021|

Each week the Honey newsletter includes a column from women and LGBTQ folks in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. We’re always looking for more stories from you. Click here to learn more about how to get published. By Joi Miner Southerners like their food deep fried, their [...]

505, 2021

Meet the South’s new cannabis activists

By |May 5, 2021|

Legal cannabis is finally coming to the South. But the legislators across the South now debating cannabis decriminalization for adult and medical use didn't just have a sudden change of heart. In states across the South, advocates and entrepreneurs have been pushing for the change in the region that historically been most [...]

305, 2021

More diverse, higher poverty: What babies tell us about the future South

By |May 3, 2021|

In states across the Deep South, children of color make up about half of the child population.   And those children are now two to three times more likely to live in poverty than their white counterparts, according to a new report issued this month, forecasting a potential for growing economic inequality across the region.  “Looking at how babies are [...]

2904, 2021

Meet the Montgomery native who got a Beyoncé-funded scholarship to diversify the jewelry industry

By |April 29, 2021|

You might not think of fashion and social justice as related. Audriana Osbourne may change your mind about that. The 24-year-old Montgomery, Ala., native is one of three recipients of a more than $20,000 scholarship offered by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter and world-renowned jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz to study at the California-based [...]

2904, 2021

Mission Reconcile helps Southern churches dismantle racism through food, fellowship  

By |April 29, 2021|

What do you get when you mix great Southern food, Jesus and anti-racism work?   The New-Orleans based nonprofit Mission Reconcile.   Mission Reconcile works to create racial reconciliation between predominantly single-race churches through shared worship, intentional conversations on understanding racism, and of course, food and fellowship.   Established in 2017, the organization facilitates conversations and fellowship between churches [...]

2804, 2021

On weathering seasons of change after the pandemic

By |April 28, 2021|

Just over a year ago, I had just finished filling out my schedule for the month of April when all of my plans went astray. The pandemic hadn’t really affected my daily life up to that point. I continued to do my regular job in person since we did parts for the railroad and I worked in an office alone anyway.

2604, 2021

Confederate-named buildings persist on Southern campuses

By |April 26, 2021|

In the 11 months since George Floyd was murdered, a moment that galvanized Black Lives Matter and similar movements throughout the country, powerful institutions were forced once again to reflect on their own questionable pasts. Colleges not only became a focal point for racial change, but they also became the [...]

2004, 2021

Rachel Pearson of Engage: Reading, watching, listening on women’s economic security, policy

By |April 20, 2021|

Rachel Pearson founded women’s economic policy organization Engage, www.engagewomen.org, after working for years in Washington, D.C., and growing frustrated at the lack of bipartisanship in Congress. “Women outlive, outnumber and out vote men,” Pearson said. “The political power should be ours, and we should have a much larger impact on [...]

1904, 2021

Emily Joy Allison: Reading, watching, and acting on purity culture

By |April 19, 2021|

America and the evangelical church is wrestling with the ramifications of purity culture: a teaching that tells people they should not have any sexual contact before heterosexual, monogamous marriage. In some circles, purity culture also demonizes masturbation, sexual fantasies and even simply being attracted to or aroused by someone else. [...]

1604, 2021

For Tennessee lawmaker, Black Maternal Health Week is personal

By |April 16, 2021|

In 2019, less than a year after London Lamar was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, she suffered a devastating late-term pregnancy loss. Lamar herself nearly lost her life.  Since then, the Memphis-born Democrat has gained attention as a champion of maternal health issues in her role as a state legislator. Most recently, she introduced a resolution recognizing the [...]

1504, 2021

North Carolina lawmakers propose Black maternal health legislation 

By |April 15, 2021|

A group of North Carolina legislators filed their own “Momnibus” act this month, a collection of state-level bills meant to address Black maternal health and the factors that contribute to disparities in health care, particularly for women of color.  The act was inspired by the federal Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021, introduced in Congress earlier [...]

1204, 2021

In a rural Alabama town, young Southerners have created their own ‘magical community’

By |April 12, 2021|

Sarah Cole, 32, is relaxing on the front porch swing with her partner, Robert Fitzpatrick, when her phone buzzes.  It’s a text from their friend, Tim Higgins, inviting them over. Tim and his partner, Aaron Head, live just across the street. The spring breeze ruffles at least half a dozen different windchimes strung along the porch [...]

704, 2021

How self-care and blogging changed my life

By |April 7, 2021|

By Cherith Fluker I could start this essay by griping about how terrible 2020 was to me.  But that probably wouldn’t grab your attention because I’m sure you’d have a comeback for every single complaint or problem that I listed.  Your response would probably match or exceed whatever gruesome event [...]

504, 2021

Arekia Bennett: Reading, watching, listening on voter suppression

By |April 5, 2021|

Right now, the situation in Georgia involving a freshly signed set of new voting restrictions, Gov. Brian Kemp, the Atlanta Braves, Major League Baseball and Stacey Abrams and other ballot-access advocates has all the dramatic tension of one of The Sandlot gang smacking a baseball into Hercules' domain.  The fate [...]

104, 2021

What my first mammogram taught me about sisterhood

By |April 1, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By Caryn Bell Mammograms are not fun. I had my first one recently. A COVID screening check-in served as a vivid [...]

2303, 2021

Beverly Wright: She’s spent a lifetime sounding the alarm on environmental racism

By |March 23, 2021|

Born close to a highly polluted area along the Lower Mississippi River in Louisiana, Dr. Beverly Wright’s childhood experiences helped shape her research on the racial inequalities created by climate change.  In 1992, she founded the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice at Dillard University in New Orleans. The organization, [...]

2203, 2021

Growing Up Asian in Alabama

By |March 22, 2021|

When I was a child, I grew up seeing essentially no one who looked like me in Alabama. I’m a transracial adoptee, so my family is white and we lived in very white neighborhoods. It was also a time when there was very little representation of Asian American and Pacific [...]

2203, 2021

How Alabamians are rallying to protect trans youth

By |March 22, 2021|

Not far from Selma's Edmund Pettus Bridge, where Alabama state troopers once attacked voting rights activists, a Black and transgender-led nonprofit is fighting off attacks on the lives of transgender youth.   The strategy for The Knights and Orchids Society, Inc., known as TKO, takes many forms. On social media, TKO [...]

1803, 2021

Moms and daughters: What Birmingham public servants Crystal and Carole Smitherman learned from each other

By |March 18, 2021|

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  Crystal Smitherman, 27, is a Birmingham city councilor for District 6, the same district where her mother Carole Smitherman served as city councilor in the early 2000s. She’s also an attorney, like her mother, who is now a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge.  [...]

1703, 2021

Fred Hampton’s deep Southern ties

By |March 17, 2021|

Many American schools usually keep their Black History curriculum on the Civil Rights Movement narrowed to just a handful of people. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks — of course — John Lewis and his heroic act on Bloody Sunday and maybe a brief mention of Malcolm X.    Most students never learn about Fred Hampton, whose story is the subject of the recently [...]

1603, 2021

Moms and daughters: What Toyota plant workers Angela and Destini Stewart learned from each other

By |March 16, 2021|

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  Angela Stewart and her daughter, Destini Stewart, try to eat lunch together whenever they can. The two women work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Huntsville, Ala. Angela began working at the plant in [...]

1503, 2021

Moms and daughters: What attorneys Elizabeth and Wesley Smithart learned from each other

By |March 15, 2021|

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  The first time newly minted attorney Wesley Smithart attended a meeting of the Women’s Section of the Alabama Bar Association, she got to watch her mother, Elizabeth Smithart, lead the meeting as chair.   The two women, both graduates of the University [...]

1503, 2021

Black Power Heals: Alice Walker

By |March 15, 2021|

The “Black Power Heals” series exploring how our Southern Black freedom fighters from both past and present found peace and joy. You can click here to read more about how Black Southern women incorporated self-care techniques like yoga and meditation into their activism.  Also, take a minute to check out and join the Black [...]

1203, 2021

Black Joy: Piping hot British tea and the power of Black holistic healing

By |March 12, 2021|

Y’all had fun trying to take down the British royal family?  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s chat with Oprah Winfrey was aired on Sunday and y’aaaallll, the tea was piping hot. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex exposed a lot of the racism and colorism that harmed their family and left them unprotected in multiple ways (they have [...]

1103, 2021

Black Power Heals: Angela Davis

By |March 11, 2021|

The “Black Power Heals” series exploring how our Southern Black freedom fighters from both past and present found peace and joy. You can click here to read more about how Black Southern women incorporated self-care techniques like yoga and meditation into their activism.  Also, take a minute to check out and join the Black [...]

903, 2021

Black Power Heals: Rosa Parks

By |March 9, 2021|

The "Black Power Heals" series exploring how our Southern Black freedom fighters from both past and present found peace and joy. You can click here to read more about how Black Southern women incorporated self-care techniques like yoga and meditation into their activism.  Also, take a minute to check out and join the [...]

903, 2021

Black Power Heals: Southern self-care is activism

By |March 9, 2021|

Southern activists have shown how self-care is activism throughout out our nation’s history. Their autobiographies, family memories, poetry and prose detail how Black women found self-care as an act of liberation. Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans, professor and director of the Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Georgia State [...]

503, 2021

Black Joy: Rosa Parks’ yoga practice

By |March 5, 2021|

Black History Month is over, but Black girl magic has strutted into the chat because it is Women’s History Month. I think there is no end when it comes to honoring the power of Black women. When they march, fight or break glass ceilings, they take everybody with them. My [...]

403, 2021

Virginia just abolished the death penalty. Is there a path for other Southern states to do the same?

By |March 4, 2021|

About a decade ago, Virginia Republican state Sen. Bill Stanley made a decision that cost him three years of his political career. He helped kill a Republican-sponsored bill that would have expanded the death penalty to include accomplices of the so-called “triggerman.” In other words, a person who hadn’t killed [...]

303, 2021

Why I’m teaching Black history all year long

By |March 3, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By Janelle Graham Last month, around the third week of February, I sat down with my 9th grade students to discuss [...]

203, 2021

Will my stimmy be taxed? Nope, but your unemployment might

By |March 2, 2021|

It’s March, which means tax season is in full swing. Filing your 2020 taxes could get complicated (what else is new about 2020?)  Virtually no one was untouched by major financial changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders forced businesses to close, leading to layoffs and the largest number [...]

2602, 2021

Black Joy: We are more than our resilience

By |February 26, 2021|

Well y’all, we may have reached the end of the Blackity-Blackest month of the year. Our Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok feeds were awash with Black history – and, oddly, facts about my favorite Black sitcoms. We sat through webinars honoring the movement workers of today and yesterday. Our children [...]

2402, 2021

Self-care is your crown

By |February 24, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By Toya Poplar The word “self-care” is thrown around a lot these days. But what exactly is self-care? Self-care is care [...]

1802, 2021

Medical cannabis in Mississippi: Here’s where things stand

By |February 18, 2021|

Last Friday, the Mississippi state Senate approved a medical cannabis bill, SB 2765, during a 1 a.m. vote. But, doesn't Mississippi already have a medical cannabis program? The legitimacy of voter-selected Initiative 65 is being debated in the Mississippi Supreme Court, but medical cannabis advocates are pushing forward with preparing [...]

1802, 2021

So you’re vaccinated. What will you do next?

By |February 18, 2021|

As the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more readily available to Southerners, more questions arise. We asked our Reckon followers about their plans after getting their vaccines, and the responses were varied. Southern states have received the lowest number of vaccinations so far. In Georgia, only 9.8% of residents have received their [...]

1702, 2021

Purity culture and the perception of singleness

By |February 17, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By JP Austin  Picture yourself at a large Southern family gathering, surrounded by more than a few of your closest relatives [...]

1202, 2021

Black Joy: Girl Scouts patch up a hole in the telling of Black history

By |February 12, 2021|

When your school lacks Black history, give us…..Girl Scout cookies? Not exactly, but y’all should really support Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama because one of the nonprofit’s alumnae created a patch honoring Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Carol Denise McNair – Birmingham’s four little girls who were [...]

1102, 2021

Workplace pregnancy protections proposed by Alabama lawmakers

By |February 11, 2021|

Alabama lawmakers are eyeing several proposals that could have significant impact on the rights of pregnant people and, specifically, pregnant workers.  Here’s a quick look at the proposed bills:  Pregnant workers  The most comprehensive is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, HB 352, sponsored by Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham. It would require all employers to provide reasonable accommodations for [...]

1002, 2021

Taking a stand for love next Valentine’s Day

By |February 10, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By Carla Youngblood As Valentine’s Day approaches, I reflect on my love life (well, the lack thereof) and wonder how I [...]

1002, 2021

Sweeping Black maternal health reforms proposed in Congress

By |February 10, 2021|

African American moms could get better health care under a series of proposals recently introduced in Congress. This week, the congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced a sprawling legislative package aimed at improving health outcomes for mothers and addressing glaring racial disparities in maternal health. Dubbed the Black Maternal Health [...]

502, 2021

The Black joy in Black History Month

By |February 5, 2021|

Happy “Move, I’m Black” month, y’all!   While our melanin magic shines year-round, it’s that time of the year when we flex our Blackness extra hard while honoring our ancestors, celebrities, past and present movement workers and current history makers.   I particularly loved this story from Black With No Chaser, a Black-centered multimedia website, about [...]

402, 2021

Southern states, high in STI and teen births rates, eye sex-ed changes  

By |February 4, 2021|

Sex ed is on the mind of legislators across the South. Florida, Alabama and Mississippi are considering bills that could bring major changes to the type of sex education taught in their classrooms.   Every Southern state requires all sex education to emphasize abstinence-until-marriage as the best choice for young people. Under these state laws, schools must emphasize that [...]

302, 2021

To keep or not to keep: on things that spark joy

By |February 3, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By Jane Patten I could never claim to be like Marie Kondo, the decluttering guru who recommends giving away items that [...]

102, 2021

For these Southern Republicans, the future of conservatism isn’t on Fox News

By |February 1, 2021|

Mississippi native Mandy Gunasekara scoffs at the notion that the GOP is in disarray. In fact, Republicans are more energized than ever, said the veteran Republican strategist Gunasekara, who most recently served as chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump Administration, now runs a political consulting firm, Section [...]

2901, 2021

Be ‘kool’ and embrace Black joy

By |January 29, 2021|

What were you known for in elementary school?   Were you known as the weird one? The cool cat? Teacher’s pet? The teacher’s turmoil?   Whoever you were back then, 9-year-old Brendan “BJ” Boggus want you and every other kid to know that you’re “kool”. So much so, the future entrepreneur and his mother, [...]

2501, 2021

Reckon with us: Our fellowship offers a paid master’s degree and full-time job opportunity  

By |January 25, 2021|

How would you like to earn a paid master’s degree while working at one of the hottest media companies in the country? Reckon and Advance Local Media are offering an exciting and unique opportunity for you to pursue a paid online master’s degree with the Newhouse School of Communications within Syracuse University, while [...]

2501, 2021

QAnon, Pizzagate and the Deep State: How to talk to the conspiracy theorists you love

By |January 25, 2021|

Does it feel like the last 12 years have been thoroughly dominated by conspiracy theories? We’ve had President Barack Obama’s birth certificate conspiracy, Pizzagate, QAnon and now disproven theories that the election was stolen. Before that, conspiracy theories about such events as the assassination of JFK, the moon landings and [...]

2201, 2021

The inauguration of Black Joy

By |January 22, 2021|

Biden who?   Oh, that’s right. President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday, but the parade of Black magic stole the show historically, fashionably, poetically. Alla that!   It spilled into our homes as Black and brown women slipped on their pearls and Chucks to watch the inauguration with their daughters. And I am banking on a theory those Bernie memes got their start [...]

1901, 2021

Ga. factory worker, fired after miscarriage scare, sues ex-employer over attendance policy

By |January 19, 2021|

Seven days after Georgia mom Kaytiara McAlister learned she was pregnant, that pregnancy cost her job, according to a new federal lawsuit..  McAlister claims she was fired from her job at a manufacturing center in west Georgia after leaving her shift early due to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding related to her pregnancy. Her employer, TydenBrooks, claims in court documents the company did nothing wrong. But McAlister, in court documents and an interview with [...]

1901, 2021

Rev. James Woodall: Georgia isn’t blue. It’s Black

By |January 19, 2021|

The same day two Democratic senators secured their U.S. Senate seats, the Georgia NAACP tweeted: Georgia is not blue. It’s Black.   Black ballots helped President-elect Joe Biden win his campaign. Black women and grassroots activists reinvigorated voter engagement, which led to record-breaking voter turnout. Young Black Georgians like 26-year-old the Rev. James Woodall are [...]

1501, 2021

The legacy of Black Joy

By |January 15, 2021|

The first two weeks of 2021 have felt like a whole month to me.   But I managed to catch a theme despite the chaos this week, and that is: What is your Black joy legacy?   While we often talk about legacies when our folks are no longer with us, it’s important to note how our words and actions build our legacies in the present day. [...]

1301, 2021

Reframing purity culture, step by step

By |January 13, 2021|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from women in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to join the Reckon Women Facebook group. By: Lea Ervin Growing up, I didn’t have a purity ring, nor did I attend an elaborate ball pledging my purity [...]

1301, 2021

Gabrielle Perry: Progressing criminal justice reform for Black women

By |January 13, 2021|

Gabrielle Perry found some of the nicest women she has ever met within the pink-walled holding cells of East Baton Rouge Parish Prison in January 2014.   Then 21, the Louisiana native was arrested for committing payroll fraud during a time when her father’s death left her scavenging for money to pay for bills and medical expenses for her ill mother. Her charges have since been expunged, [...]

1201, 2021

Was the attack on Congress un-American? Yes and no, historians say

By |January 12, 2021|

In the minutes after pro-Trump rioters breached the halls of Congress, members of Congress and other elected officials took to social media to express their disappointment in the pro-Trump demonstrators' actions.  “America is so much better than what we’re seeing today,” President-elect Joe Biden said in a tweet. The tweet [...]

1101, 2021

Rep. Mo Brooks has sponsored just one bill that became law. What else has he done in Congress?

By |January 11, 2021|

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks has sponsored just one bill that made it into law during his decade in Congress: the renaming of a U.S. Post Office in Alabama. Brooks, the embattled and unapologetic congressman from northern Alabama, has come under pressure after helping mobilize a contentious challenge of the recent [...]

1101, 2021

‘Do it scared’: 8 tips by a Southern Black yogi to get you together

By |January 11, 2021|

So, let’s be real for a moment.   Did seeing white fragility on full display at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday distract you from your goals this year?   No judgment if all that craziness threw you off. That’s understandable. Consider this inspiring story about Birmingham’s Black yogi, Adi Devta Kaur, to get you back on track.   This time last year, Kaur, also known as [...]

801, 2021

Medical cannabis proposals blaze across the South

By |January 8, 2021|

Three more Southern states could soon create medical cannabis programs.  State legislators in Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina have filed or pre-filed bills establishing such programs.  These states would join Mississippi, the latest state to adopt a medical cannabis program, making it the 35th state to legalize medical cannabis. Mississippi used a ballot measure to get medical [...]

801, 2021

Ain’t nothing too big for Black Joy

By |January 8, 2021|

I’ll be honest with y’all. I didn't know how to open this week’s Black Joy. I've considered multiple angles. Like, should I start this off funny by saying “If this year had a headline, it would read ‘2021: See, what had happen was….’” Or should I lead with some poignant [...]

701, 2021

Feeling some type of way? Contact your lawmaker

By |January 7, 2021|

Education. Taxes. Healthcare. Zoning ordinances. Roads. Benefits. Your elected officials make a lot of decisions that affect your life at the local, state and federal levels. And you have the power to influence their decisions – whether it’s through your personal story, your expertise or your persistence. The 2021 legislative [...]

601, 2021

Noah Harris: How to give people a reason to stay in Mississippi

By |January 6, 2021|

Like his home state, Mississippi native Noah Harris caught attention in November when he became the first Black man to be elected to serve as Harvard University’s student body president.   The 20-year-old junior and government major and his running mate, Jenny Gan, ran a campaign to make sure no Harvard student was left behind during the roller coaster ride of 2020. The pair rented a local warehouse [...]

501, 2021

Some voted Trump, some backed Biden. What are their hopes for the future?

By |January 5, 2021|

Both President Trump and the Biden/Harris campaign touted coalitions of voters supporting their campaigns. There were Climate Voters for Biden. Sportsmen for Trump. Latinos for both. With Congress set to certify the election results and the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president, [...]

101, 2021

New year, same Black Joy

By |January 1, 2021|

On the last day of 2020, I read jokes on social media going around about black-eyed peas.   A tried-and-true tradition was turned into a cautionary tale: Don’t soak them peas this year. They didn’t bring us a lick of luck of 2020. We’re walking into 2021 with new traditions.   I laughed and [...]

2912, 2020

Mimi Cole: The South’s lovely becoming through healing

By |December 29, 2020|

With 2020 coming to a close, Mimi Cole can sense a deep healing coming for the South.  She has watched the South shift and change as she spends her formative years throughout the region. A Virginia native, Cole went to Vanderbilt University, where she was inspired to be a therapist focusing on eating disorders and obsessive [...]

2212, 2020

How to Have a Perfectly Imperfect Christmas

By |December 22, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write.  Click here to sign up for the newsletter.  Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. By: Linda Lyle In 1994 I was teaching English in Seoul, South Korea [...]

1812, 2020

At this COVID-19 unit, things were getting better. Now, its nurses fear a ‘tsunami’ is coming

By |December 18, 2020|

Working in a hospital COVID-19 unit right now feels a little like being in a disaster flick, said Jake Perkins. A 24-year-old registered nurse in a medical intensive care unit at UAB, he’s caring for the hospital’s sickest COVID-19 patients.  “It reminds me of a movie about a tsunami,” he told Reckon. “You turn around and you see this wave coming at you.”  Recently, UAB Hospital hit a [...]

1612, 2020

Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

By |December 16, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write.  Click here to sign up for the newsletter.  Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. By Janelle Graham Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Christmas Day will look [...]

1612, 2020

New cannabis trade group hopes to ‘revolutionize’ Mississippi economy

By |December 16, 2020|

Mississippi now has a trade association to provide information and support to those hoping to participate in the state’s soon-to-be medical marijuana program.  The newly formed Mississippi Cannabis Trade Association aims to help people interested in growing, cultivating and distributing medical cannabis, said founding member Melvin C. Robinson III.   “Mississippians are known for agriculture. [...]

1412, 2020

Amber Scales: Help Black women create a new South

By |December 14, 2020|

While growing up in Georgia, Amber Scales learned that politics wasn’t so much about red and blue parties: it’s about the people and the movements that are making sure everyone is represented and heard.   Her lessons came from watching what she calls “community care practitioners” in her family. Among them, her mother, Juliette, an attorney-turned-Fulton County juvenile court judge.   Scales started her journey as next generation movement worker at the University of Alabama where she challenged “The Machine,” [...]

1112, 2020

The Black joy of Black excellence

By |December 11, 2020|

Turn to your neighbor and say: “Your black excellence is magic.”  Notice I said “your” Black excellence, which doesn’t have to be this big, golden star achievement.   You kept your business afloat despite the pandemic? Black excellence.   You learned about the liberating power of rest this year? Black excellence.   Your day went all [...]

1012, 2020

10 HBCU grads making boss moves in the South

By |December 10, 2020|

By Abbey Crain Reckon staff writer The 2020 election gave HBCU graduates a chance to shine, bringing to the forefront the fruits of historically Black institutions. U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, a Howard University graduate, became the first woman and first Black woman elected vice president. Stacey Abrams, a Spelman College [...]

1012, 2020

Looking for better sex education? Try these resources

By |December 10, 2020|

If you read our series on purity culture and sex education in the South and you’re hoping to make sex education better for your children and community, we’ve complied a list of resources to help you have better conversations about sexuality and relationships.   For parents  Talking to your children about their bodies and sex can be [...]

1012, 2020

These people are making sex education better in the South

By |December 10, 2020|

Toy Rollins knew she had to find some way to talk to her two older daughters about sex after she learned her children’s Atlanta-area charter school wasn’t planning to teach a robust sex education curriculum.  Rollins, who also grew up in Georgia, said she expected her children to get the same sex [...]

912, 2020

Purity culture can impact long-term sexual health 

By |December 9, 2020|

This story is part of a series about purity culture, sex education and the role of family, faith and communities in addressing the lasting impacts of purity culture’s teachings. Cultural norms surrounding sex in the South can lead to long-lasting physical effects such sexual dysfunction, sexually transmitted infections and gynecological cancers, experts say.   Many [...]

912, 2020

Experts say purity culture teaches boys an unrealistic view of sexuality

By |December 9, 2020|

The gender roles assigned to men via purity culture further perpetuate sexual dissatisfaction and unrealistic relationship expectations, sex educators say.   While a large portion of research on purity culture has focused on how the ideology has affected women and girls, these same gender expectations enforce an unrealistic view of [...]

912, 2020

David and Devin: Creating a Southern, Black, queer renaissance

By |December 9, 2020|

The South has always been the stage of many forms of the country’s progress.   Theatre creatives Devin Franklin and David Parker want more nuanced Black, queer narratives in the spotlight. Between finishing classes at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and doing groundbreaking work with other creatives of color, 21-year-old Devin Franklin and 22-year-old David Parker, who both use he/they pronouns, host a podcast called “The Queer Code.” The themes range from humorous quarantine takes to emotionally raw rants [...]

812, 2020

‘Come to church, we have the best sex:’ Christian leaders rethink purity culture messaging

By |December 8, 2020|

This story is part of a series about purity culture, sex education and the role of family, faith and communities in addressing the lasting impacts of purity culture's teachings. John Paul Basham remembers, when he was a teenager, participating in a sexual abstinence program called True Love Waits at his Southern Baptist [...]

812, 2020

Purity culture: How sex was taught to a generation of Southerners

By |December 8, 2020|

This story is part of a series about purity culture, sex education and the role of family, faith and communities in addressing the lasting impacts of purity culture's teachings Rings promising chastity passed from fathers to daughters. Virginity pledges signed at school assemblies. Flower petals torn from stems to symbolize the [...]

712, 2020

Steven McIntyre: Serving up southern progress on a plate

By |December 7, 2020|

Steve McIntyre is making a career of whipping up poetry on a plate.   The 27-year-old Mobile, Ala., native gives his French-style fine dining training southern flare at Birmingham’s Eat At Panoptic food truck. Braised oxtails seasoned with the “Cajun Holy Trinity” of onion, bell pepper and celery perched atop a bed of sweet potato gnocchi and shrimp and grits [...]

3011, 2020

Women-owned printmaking studio creates space for Alabama artists to make a statement

By |November 30, 2020|

Reckon Women partnered with seven women-owned small businesses and creators whose stories illustrate the grit, innovation and creativity we admire, and together we curated holiday gift boxes for our readers to purchase. Click here to support these women creators with your purchase..  Rachel Lackey fell in love with printmaking in college [...]

3011, 2020

5 ways to shop smarter this holiday season

By |November 30, 2020|

The holidays are here, which means you’re already getting holiday catalogs in the mail and seeing holiday sale commercials on TV. It’s tempting to pull out that department store credit card to make the magic happen at the holidays, but is the debt worth it?   Reckon video producer Kavolshaia Howze talked to Callie Jowers, a certified [...]

3011, 2020

Kat Files: Stop sleeping on Black southern talent

By |November 30, 2020|

Birminghamian Kat Files doesn’t appreciate people side-eyeing Black creatives from the South.    It’s a problem 28-year-old Files has bumped into multiple times as a professional dancer, model, and actress in New York City. Her passion for the arts has guided her to many opportunities, like being accepted into to the prestigious Fordham University/Ailey School BFA program [...]

2711, 2020

All I want for Christmas is Black Joy

By |November 27, 2020|

It’s beginning to look a lot like a Black Joy Christmas.   Please, tell me you sung that. Ok, the tempo may be a little off, but you get the gist.  It’s finally time to break out the sparkling tinsel and lights and celebrate the most wonderful time of the year without being side-eyed for [...]

2511, 2020

8 women activists minding the gap in the South

By |November 25, 2020|

The South is home to the most diverse people, landscapes and culture in the country. We have so much to be proud of. But our governments are often stagnant, disproportionately stocked with white men and ineffective when it comes to taking care of vulnerable communities. But minding the gap are [...]

2411, 2020

Jacqueline McMillan finds healing in wood-carving after losing limbs to sepsis

By |November 24, 2020|

Reckon Women partnered with seven women-owned small businesses and creators whose stories illustrate the grit, innovation and creativity we admire, and together we curated holiday gift boxes for our readers to purchase. Click here to support these women creators with your purchase..  Jacqueline McMillan likes to watch customers browse in [...]

2311, 2020

Reckon Women curations: Unique gifts featuring Alabama makers

By |November 23, 2020|

Throughout the year, we meet Alabama women almost everywhere who help us see the world differently, who write their own narratives and who craft beauty and art despite odds. And we want to introduce them to you, too -- through their creations. Welcome to our first curation of creations [...]

2311, 2020

Jamie Lowe: The consequences of stereotypes

By |November 23, 2020|

With a knack for listening and passion for both people and politics, Opelika’s Jamie Lowe may remind you of Barack Obama  – if the former president had a southern twang.  It’s a comparison the humbly confident Lowe may not accept, but he has built a pretty impressive political resume for himself.  A 20-year-old legal mediator at the Lee County Justice Center, Lowe ran for a [...]

2011, 2020

Black Joy: Believe in your own dopeness – and pass the (vegan) mac and cheese

By |November 20, 2020|

Words of affirmation. Physical touch. Quality time. Acts of service. Receiving gifts.   Those are the five love languages according to Gary Chapman who literally wrote the book about these types of things. You know what really should be its own love language? Food.  We communicate love and comfort through food, and I’m excited to taste those [...]

1911, 2020

Southern states lead U.S. in preterm births

By |November 19, 2020|

The South leads the nation in babies born too early, according to a new report from the March of Dimes, a national organization that funds research and advocates for healthy mothers and babies.  The only states to earn F ratings for their high rates of preterm birth were Alabama, Georgia, [...]

1811, 2020

Making a name for myself as a Shunnarah

By |November 18, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. By Mandy Shunnarah They think they know me based [...]

1811, 2020

South leads U.S. in young people living with parents

By |November 18, 2020|

Young people are bearing the weight of the financial crisis caused by COVID-19 and will continue to suffer from the financial fallout for years to come, recent reports suggest.  People between the age of 15 and 25 are 2.5 times more likely to have become unemployed due to the pandemic [...]

1811, 2020

Fitz Webb: Building a more LGBTQ-inclusive South

By |November 18, 2020|

Fitz Webb didn’t see a lot of people who looked like them while growing up in Georgia. But Webb, who uses the pronouns they, them and theirs, wants to change the representation by becoming Georgia’s first non-binary senator in the future. Currently, Webb is an Auburn University graduate student, vice [...]

1811, 2020

Maternal mortality panel finds 70 percent of Alabama pregnancy deaths preventable; urges Medicaid expansion

By |November 18, 2020|

Nearly 70 percent of pregnancy-related deaths of Alabama women were preventable in 2016, according to the state’s first report on maternal mortality since officials began collecting data last year.  The report also recommended that Alabama expand Medicaid, calling a failure to do so “an underlying, yet significant factor” impacting the maternal deaths covered in the report.  [...]

1611, 2020

Alexus Cumbie: ‘We can’t leave anyone behind’

By |November 16, 2020|

Welcome to the first edition of Young, Southern and Black, a series by Reckon that lends  the microphone to Black southerners under 30 who are crafting the futures they want to see in the region they call home.  First up to have the mic, University of Alabama graduate student Alexus [...]

1611, 2020

How do young Black people see the future of the South?

By |November 16, 2020|

While growing up in Alabama, I was warned often: If you want to grow, get out of the South.  For a minute there I daydreamed about snatching up opportunities while living in the glamor of New York City. But now that I’m noticing the stigmatizing statements people make about the South, I’m like, “Nah.”   Because the [...]

1311, 2020

Black Joy: Kamala’s success prompts twirling, dancing in the streets

By |November 13, 2020|

Dear Black family, we showed out this week!   From praising Black women who have spent years slaying voter suppression (I already got you covered with a list of Black women led initiatives you can support today) to the first Black Miss Mississippi securing the top crown of Miss USA – that’s a lot of powerful Blackness to cover for [...]

1211, 2020

How to build wealth from basically nothing

By |November 12, 2020|

If you’ve been following the Money Talks series, you know it addressed some of the ways wealth is unequally distribution in America.  Now, we want to share some advice from financial experts about how to build your wealth.  Buy life insurance outside of your job  Millions of Americans lost their [...]

1111, 2020

Speak up for women’s health all year long

By |November 11, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. By Millie Jackson In the early 1970s months were [...]

1111, 2020

8 Black women fighting for voting rights in the South

By |November 11, 2020|

Georgia quickly became a meme during election week as mail in ballots slowly flipped the state blue for the first time in 1992. Social media identified voting rights queen and former gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams as one to thank for helping Joe Biden inch pass the 270 seats needed [...]

911, 2020

Mississippi’s medical marijuana law: What you need to know

By |November 9, 2020|

Mississippi voters chose to create a medical marijuana program. Now that the initiative has received the voters’ seal of approval, what happens next?   The now-approved Initiative 65 outlines the conditions for which marijuana can be prescribed as a treatment, sets possession limits, tax rates and establishes the Mississippi Department of Public Health [...]

911, 2020

How this Alabama couple bought a house for $8,000 cash

By |November 9, 2020|

During the first walkthrough of their new home, Eddie and Katie Burkhalter looked around at piles of garbage, drug paraphernalia and graffiti-scrawled walls noting the previous tenants’ drug of choice.   Calling the house, which the Burkhalters bought with $8,000 cash, a fixer-upper would be an understatement. But with some work and a lot of saving, they turned [...]

511, 2020

The South leads nation in new business applications

By |November 5, 2020|

Even as the coronavirus pandemic continues to cause economic uncertainty throughout the country, people are starting new businesses in record numbers, with most new applications coming from the South. More than 1 million new business applications were filed in the Southeast between the beginning of April and the end of [...]

411, 2020

The threads of privilege are all over me

By |November 4, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from an Alabama woman, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. By Donna Eich Brooks Imagine an almost invisible shining thread. It’s [...]

211, 2020

The Gender Wealth Gap

By |November 2, 2020|

The women’s wealth gap is not the same as the women’s wage gap, but it may be a better measure of the financial health of women in America.  You’ve likely heard of the women’s wage gap. Women are paid 82 cents for every $1 a white man is paid.  Women [...]

2910, 2020

Under 45 and running for high office in the South

By |October 29, 2020|

Millennial participation in politics is growing. The Millennial Action Project, which tracks millennial participation in politics, estimates from 2018 to 2020, there has been a 266% increase in millennials running for office. The group reports that there are 236 candidates under the age of 45 running for Congress in 2020. [...]

2810, 2020

Finding my new normal after cancer

By |October 28, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October’s essays will all be [...]

2810, 2020

Aimée Castenell: The campaigns after the campaign

By |October 28, 2020|

Fun fact: The election that's coming up, the one that has us kind of missing the zany local car salesman whose low-budget TV commercials have been replaced by wall-to-wall political ads, is not the last election there'll ever be. In fact, as soon as this campaign is over, organizers will [...]

2810, 2020

‘Rushed and undemocratic’: Hundreds of Ala. women decry Ivey’s support of Amy Coney Barrett

By |October 28, 2020|

More than 800 Alabama women cosigned a letter this week, denouncing Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s support of what they called the “rushed and undemocratic” confirmation process of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court. Ivey, along with two other women Republican governors, had written a public letter [...]

2310, 2020

Reefer Madness: Mississippi has two medical marijuana questions on the ballot. How are they different?

By |October 23, 2020|

Mississippi voters face two choices to legalize medical marijuana for certain patients this November. Officially, these measures — both of which will appear on ballots — are called Initiative 65 and Alternative 65A. How medical marijuana ended up on Mississippi’s ballot Just 26 states have the option of allowing ballot [...]

2210, 2020

Deep South millennials prefer Biden to Trump, new study shows

By |October 22, 2020|

For the 2020 presidential election, younger voters trend blue even in deeply red states like Alabama and Mississippi, according to a new survey. The new data on candidate preferences come from SurveyMonkey-Tableau, in partnership with news website Axios and could spell trouble in the future for the Republican Party, showing [...]

2110, 2020

Becoming the one-breasted lady

By |October 21, 2020|

Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman in the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October’s essays will all be [...]

2010, 2020

Catherine Flowers, ‘genius grant’ winner, credits Black power activism for success

By |October 20, 2020|

When the Earth is ill, so are its people.   Catherine Flowers saw hints of that sickness growing up during the 1960s in Lowndes County, Ala., a predominantly Black rural area with fewer than 10,000 people. She noticed how both animals and vegetation bowed and browned in death after farmers sprayed clouds of DDT, a pesticide eventually found to be lethal to the environment.  “If this is [...]

1210, 2020

Level up your anti-voter suppression game with these tips

By |October 12, 2020|

When votes aren’t counted, the voter’s voice is silenced.   This is why organizations like Black Voters Matter are continuing a long-standing Southern tradition of doing the groundwork to increase Black voter registration. The organization started in 2016 in Selma, Ala., the stomping grounds for many civil rights giants like John Lewis. The group has since expanded its footprint [...]

1210, 2020

Islamic mortgages: A less risky way to buy a home

By |October 12, 2020|

Buying property can be a formidable process. Aside from the so-called fundamentals of looking for a home — dealing with a bank, arranging inspections and signing piles of paperwork — you also have to think about the long-term financial risks involved. Will your house lose value? Will you end up [...]

710, 2020

How breast cancer ruined and restored my confidence

By |October 7, 2020|

By Javacia Harris Bowser  Each week the Reckon Women newsletter includes a column from a woman with ties to the South, in collaboration with See Jane Write. Click here to sign up for the newsletter. Click here to sign up for the Reckon Women Facebook page. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness [...]

210, 2020

The South still lags U.S. on paying women fairly

By |October 2, 2020|

Alabama still has one of the widest gender wage gaps in the nation, and most of the South follows suit, a Reckon analysis shows. Nationally, women make 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, with an annual gap of $9,774. Southern women earn less, around 78 cents on average.  Women in [...]

2909, 2020

Amanda Shires confronts ‘The Problem’ with abortion in the South through new song

By |September 29, 2020|

Amanda Shires wants people who have had abortions to feel less alone in their decision. The Grammy-winning singer and songwriter released “The Problem,” about a couple navigating the decision to have an abortion, on International Safe Abortion Day. All proceeds will benefit Alabama’s Yellowhammer Fund, an abortion fund and [...]

2909, 2020

Want to retire early and still have fun? With aggressive investing and frugal living, it’s possible

By |September 29, 2020|

As the global pandemic continues to heap financial concerns upon millions of Americans, including mass unemployment and fears over an economic recovery, retirement may not be your biggest concern right now. But the stock market, which holds most of our retirement hopes in its mind-boggling numbers and graphs, continues to [...]

2409, 2020