Valerie Boyd

Valerie Boyd directs the low-residency MFA program in narrative nonfiction at the University of Georgia. She is author of the critically acclaimed Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston and editor of the forthcoming Gathering Blossoms Under Fire: The Journals of Alice Walker. 

August 17, 2020

An essay from the Place Issue

Much has changed in Stone Mountain since that piece was published in 1999, and much has not. The Confederate heroes still perch proudly on the mountainside, defacing the granite, mocking its full potential for glory. And yet the city surrounding the mountain keeps getting blacker and browner, fueled by a surge of immigrants from such countries as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Somalia, and Burma.

August 25, 2020

An essay from the archive republished in the Place Issue

Happy to have this discussion with me, they didn’t notice that for the first time in her life, their only daughter had realized that there might be places she couldn’t go, things she couldn’t do, because of the color of her skin. They didn’t notice that a kind of racial fear took root in my bones that day.