Kelsey Norris is a writer and editor from Alabama. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University’s MFA program, and her work is forthcoming from the Georgia Review. “What the Land Holds” is her first print publication. Find her at kelseynorris.com.
A Points South essay from the Fall 2018 issue
For the past year, five Vanderbilt researchers and historians, myself included, have collected oral histories related to this site—a Union fort largely built by enslaved and free African Americans, many of whom died during its construction. We’d gathered the stories of descendants of the laborers who built the fort and the soldiers who protected it. That Saturday, we’d unveil our work, though unveil felt like a grand word for what we’d amassed—largely two fifteen-minute video interviews. But there it was, printed just beside our project’s name on the event poster. FORT NEGLEY DESCENDENTS PROJECT: NASHVILLE'S BLACK LEGACIES OF THE CIVIL WAR. The name is clunky, a little wordy. But it has to hold so much.
A conversation with Summer 2017 fiction contributor Gothataone Moeng.
Joy and sorrow are communal and have a time and place. This can be pragmatic in anchoring people going through something difficult but doesn’t necessarily allow for individual processing of emotion.