I am the Southern Fried Witch. I am the child of legends and myth, honeysuckle and red-clay dirt. In my small frame, I carry the histories of my people: Celt Irish, Cherokee and African heritages that manifest in small fires, fried okra and the tribal beat of a semi-tropic sunset. My people are both the backbone of a continental history and the brunt of a universal myth that hints at ignorance and simplicity. But history has lied to you before.
My grandmother lived along a country river, just under the Tennessee line, and cooled her milk in a stream. She renamed (or re-spelled) herself in the sixth grade, quit school to pick cotton and came right back to “learnin” out of a deep need to “better” herself and her people. Her own folks were farmers and builders, and from that heritage, she became a self-taught blueprint artist and landowner of her own right. Let’s be clear here: my people had goat stews and said “ain’t,” spit “chaw” and put the evil eye on you if you weren’t right. Somewhere down the line, someone decided that this denoted ignorance. As my dear Grandma once told me: we talk slow so as you can understand us. There’s much to say between the lines.
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