Hello Alabama: A One-Shot Disaster
14 pg. at quarter-letter size
Temporarily sold out at time of writing from Stranger Danger Distro
My experience with Alabama is limited to taking a Greyhound bus through the state on my way from Atlanta to New Orleans on a whirlwind Discovery Pass (RIP) trip through America. It was dark, and as the bus cruised past a shack in the middle of a field burning down, a couple of old guys in overalls watching it contemplatively, I felt acutely how far I was from everything I knew. I’ve wanted to go back to Alabama, not least because therein is found the Hank Williams Death Car, but I’ve known some pals from there, and none has fond memories of the place.
Now, I can add Courtney’s to the chorus of voices who’ve told me about the extent to which Alabama’s troubled past lives on in its present. In this zine, Courtney describes the culture shock she experienced when she moved from North Carolina to Alabama. As a naïve young Canadian and someone who benefits from white privilege, my first trip to the areas of the Southern U.S. that could arguably be counted as part of the Global South left a deep impression on me - I’d read plenty about colonialism and the scars it leaves, but here they were in the flesh.
Courtney describes encountering things like, in library school, having a guest speaker from the Uncle Remus Regional Library system who was confused as to why anyone would take issue with the name, talks about moving to a place without recycling services, a place where the public pool shut down so it wouldn’t have to desegregate, and remains shut down to this day.
This zine is a quick read, but very evocative and angry. I would recommend it for anyone who has complicated feelings about the southern states or would like to.
- Lily Pepper