Money, Mississippi, April 2011
In Zulu/Nguli, “I see you” (“sawubona”- sah-woo-bone-a) is a greeting to which the reply is “I am here” (“sikhona”- si-koh-na).
Wendy DeGroat serves as a librarian and community creative writing teacher in Richmond, Virginia, and curates poetryriver.org, a site which connects visitors with diverse voices in contemporary American poetry and with resources for exploring documentary poetry. During her childhood, she lived southwest of Roanoke, near the Appalachian Mountains, having moved there with her family when she was nine from her birthplace further north along those same mountains—in the dairy country of northern New Jersey. Now steeped in Southern habits, but with ancestral roots and a loving network of relatives in New Jersey and upstate New York, she considers herself joyfully bicultural, and deeply blessed for being so. “What Remains” was inspired by a visit to Money, Mississippi while on the 2011 Living Legacy Pilgrimage, “a journey to meet the people, hear the stories, and visit the sites that changed the world in the Civil Rights Movement.”