Welcome to Broadly Speaking! We are excited to share this space that we’ve created with you and to steward it as it grows.
Here’s what we’ve outlined as Broadly Speaking’s mission/vision/raison d’etre. (Otherwise known as an “About” page). It’s permanent home is here.
If you’re wonder “What is this?” or “Why?” this should answer some of those, along with our post “Where and What is the South?”
“I am from the South.”
Neither of us have introduced ourselves in this way without feeling a certain level of self-consciousness, pride, and anxiety. For fear of being misunderstood, we know we need to be ready for a conversation. Claiming to be southern is a loaded thing to do.
Thus, we are constantly thinking about the boundaries and implications of our Southern identities.
The South is juicy. And the thing is, regardless of geographic location, we’ve all been nourished by the sticky, cloying, sweet, tart, bitter juice from southern fruits—whether or not we know how to recognize the taste.
The South is a place both ignored and over-performed. A region strictly defined and constantly reduced. It is one of the most diverse geographic regions in the United States with boundaries that are hotly contested. It is characterized as a place where everyone is “racist”, “backward”, “bigoted” and known as a hotbed of social action and cultural production. It is loved, stolen from, feared, and remembered conditionally. And the harvest and pillage of the South has set the stage for the U.S. to be an economic and political global super power.
Because of this, it is a place – imagined and geographic – worth our deep consideration. As two broads who are thinkers, creators and lovers, interested in developing, using, and documenting our voices we want to explore the stuff that is (one of) our homeland(s). We are dedicated to social justice and the critical analyses of race, gender, class, sexuality and identity and we see the process of “worrying”* southern boundaries as important. Rather than searching for “southern authenticity,” we are interested in blurring and smudging and the borders of “the South.” Like blending the colors of sidewalk chalk by rubbing our hands over rough concrete. Or perhaps like stepping on the edge of an inflatable kiddie pool, letting the water spill out.