Our sincerest thanks to Mr. Peter Datcher of Vincent, Alabama, for visiting one of our Writing Our Stories classes at Vincent Middle-High School recently. Mrs. Erica Davis’s 6th grade group of students loved writing persona poems and hearing about the Civil War and Emancipation in Alabama from Mr. Datcher, whose family owns the longest continually operated, Black-owned farm in the state. His visit was a part of our unit entitled Land as Persona: Many Paths to the Present, in which we have explored the deep history of Vincent and Harpersville, from the Muscogee Creeks, to slavery, to Emancipation, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and up to the present day. This currciculum was developed by Forum Teaching Writer Daniel DeVaughn in partnership with Nell Gottlieb, Executive Director of Klein Arts & Culture.
The land is a part of our common heritage here in Alabama, though the lines and histories we have traced on it meander over time, sometimes diverging slightly, sometimes forking violently. Today, we all share this common, florid landscape growing from rich soil, red clay, and abundant waterways. At AWF, we believe that to truly share this present is to understand our origins.