Our Stories, Our Art Magazine

A publication of the National Folklife Network

Day Camp: The Right of Play

Dr. Sherwanda Y. Chism

I have the most incredible childhood memories of summer in Memphis. My daddy, Sherman L. Jones, worked for the Memphis Park Commission, the parks and recreation arm of the city. He was a community center director and, with his colleagues, provided entertainment for all of Memphis. The Memphis Park Commission, now called Memphis Parks, is …

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Finding Home in Memphis

Tracey Brown

I live in Memphis. The responses these four words elicit are telling. “That’s where Elvis is from.” “I hear they have good barbeque.” Or even, “I watch The First 48!”[i] inevitably followed by two questions: “Is it really that bad there?” and “How do you live there?” Of course, what runs through my head is, …

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Synclaire Butler

The following work was written on the traditional lands of the Dena’ina people. I live and write on the land of the Dena’ina. I recognize the continued impacts of colonization on Alaska’s Indigenous and Black communities. In solidarity, always. Home I. Mouths come loose, when their hands get in the kitchen. Over hair grease and …

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My Memphis, My Home

Veverly Edwards

Before construction started in Tom Lee Park, I sometimes visited the park after a stressful day. I’d sit on a bench positioned on the green lawn overlooking the Mississippi River, close my eyes, and allow the sounds of the fast-moving currents to soothe my anxious thoughts and relax my tense muscles. As calming as the …

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Elevating Our Ancestors

Debra Brandon

Thoughts on the Connection between Youth, Crime, and Labels I once read a story about a group of young boys knocking on doors in search of work to do in the neighborhood. One lady opened her door and asked the boys why they needed the money. They wanted to buy ice cream from Dollar General, …

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“Not Native Enough” and Other Lies of Colonization: The Boarding Era and Stolen Culture

Benjamin Jacuk

“You aren’t Native enough” is a phrase most Native peoples have heard throughout their lives, regardless of whether they grew up in the city, the reservation, or the village. A lie derived from those whose standards are not our own but who have the most to gain from our disappearance, from those whose only point …

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Poems from the collection Eating Dignity

Itzel Zagal

Tamal Communion So, they say: Para todos los males: tamales. For all sadness: tamales. Tata fed me with corn from the Gods that declined to die. Graniceros, callers of rain: we do not pray on our knees, we offer our sweat. Madre Tonantzin accept these tamales! They are the blood and the flesh, spices braided …

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A photo of a blueberry bush with the words, "Postcards from the Rainforest, Southeast Alaska."

Introduction to Wrangell Rainforest

Vivian Mork Yéilk’ & Vivian Faith Prescott

The Tlingit have stewarded the land and ocean known as Tlingit Aaní, also called the Tongass National Rainforest, since time immemorial.
A basket of harvested spruce tips sitting on the ground as two brown rain boots stand next to it.

Spring Rainforest Postcard

Vivian Faith Prescott & Vivian Mork Yéilk’

Smoking Hooligan is a fishcamp tradition! Hooligan run in the Stikine River region around mid-April when the migratory birds arrive on the river flats.
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The opinions contained herein represent the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views, opinions, or policies of SFA, ACTA, and FPF, or the National Endowment for the Arts. Mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations does not imply endorsement by the US Government. This document was created free of branding or market affiliations. The authors are operating solely as contributors.