Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Alabama Black Belt

I have recently become more and more fascinated by the region of Alabama called "Black Belt."

I recall studying about the Black Belt when I was a ninth-grader taking mandatory Alabama History, but I never went there and so of course it made no sense because, really, I was a lot more concerned about wearing Sebagos and having whammer! hair back then.

Now that I live in Tuscaloosa, and drive to visit my family in Mobile, I drive through 3 counties in the Black Belt and, I am not kidding, it's like being in a different country.

First, the architecture of many of the plantation and farm homes is magnificent, and quite the juxtaposition against the stark poverty that exists otherwise.

I blogged about the Quilts of Gee's Bend awhile back, and I suppose that would be the most vivid example of the Black Belt and how it moves me.

Lately I've been really wondering why I don't just conform and live in a big city where I can go to Starbucks and the theater and get a big Botox face and hate on everybody, but the truth is I am much more intrigued by the obscure, and always root for the underdog.

I started blogging as a way to clear a writer's block and put some form to my thoughts, and it has been a very rewarding journey. We write about what we know, and the Black Belt has provided more fuel to add to my fire.

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