Scalawag and the Importance of Community-Driven News

First and foremost, Scalawag sparks conversations, convenes community, and supports movements dedicated to making the South a more equitable and just home for all Southerners. Importantly, this non-profit organization accomplishes this feat through regional, community-driven news.

On Sunday, July 21st, MOTHER will host the Scalawag Jubilee. In the words of Community Engagement Manager and writer Alysia Harris, the Jubilee is “a big ol party with all the homies and the soon-to-be homies who care about Atlanta.” Specifically, the Jubilee will celebrate the release of Scalawag’s 16th print issue with performances my local talent. This celebration will also serve as the launch of the Atlanta chapter of Scalawag members. As Harris explains, “We don't see our readers as news consumers; we consider them creators and shapers of news, media, and culture. Jubilee empowers our audience by providing a space for them to engage with local artists like Justin Sperry and Masud Olufani and hear from organizers like our fam at SONG about the issues affecting ATL and the South as a region.”

Scalawag has an impressive line-up of local talent for Jubilee attendees to enjoy, including spoken word by Alysia Harris. Other artists and performers include Justin Sperry, DJ Rasyrious, Field Notes by Southerners on New Ground and Masud Olufani, and news presented by the Scalawag team.

As a poet and spoken word artist, Alysia Harris states that she is “interested in taking the internal world and externalizing it, so historically I've been deeply influenced by the physical world-- color, texture, taste” Her influences include writers such as Richard Siken, Frank Sanford, Lucie Brock-Broido, as well as rhetoricians and theologians such as Simone Weil and C.S. Lewis.  She describes her work as multidisciplinary, exploring “the resonance of memory; the narrative traditions of African and African American folklore; and the fluid, improvisatory nature of Black vernacular expressions.” Harris also hosts a monthly creative salon at her house, called MIDWEEK, and invites attendees to ask her about it at Jubilee.

What is Harris most excited about at the Jubilee? “For folks to meet each other, for folks in the city to find out more about the artists, activists, practitioners, healers, and organizers that are out here doing necessary work. Also for folks to hear more about Scalawag. It's producing the kind of critical content that the South deserves and that the South needs as we continue to mobilize for justice.”

Join us this Sunday from 3-7PM for the Scalawag Jubilee to learn more about Scalawag and the regional, community-driven artists and thinkers they uplift.

Amanda Mills