“The south got something to say”: Resilient remembering amid uncertain futures

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Geography and Geology

Publication Title

Southeastern Geographer


This paper serves as a preliminary commentary on the future resilience and vulnerability of Southern sites of memory about and for Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC). We dis-cuss interactions between memory and the environment that present opportunities for more just, equitable, and sustainable commemorations as well as interactions that may undermine progress toward that vision. Drawing from hazards and cultural geographies, we describe four principles for resilient remembering: continuity, visibility, adaptability, and legitimacy. Next, we survey four Southern cases where emerging and interrelated threats of closure, cultural tokenism, dispossession, and managed retreat specifically endanger Black sites of memory. In each case, we highlight BIPOC cultural institutions already performing resilient remembering and consider ways in which these efforts may be amplified to confront the rapidly changing conditions ahead. We conclude by calling on geographers to resiliently remember with BIPOC communities and cultural institutions to promote justice and inclusion of BIPOC in the politics of the future South.

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