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Plantation Country

by Nana Grizol

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about

“Plantation Country” is a protest song about tourism branding of the southeastern United States. The song asks what it means for state tourism boards to promote whitewashed versions of these places as sites of leisure, and what psychic damage must these narratives do. It asks how symbols of white supremacy uphold as they obscure present-day connections to plantation pasts. Written from the perspective of someone socialized as white in the shadow of these places, "Plantation Country" explores the hurt they continue to inflict. It looks to self-work and solidarities across difference for the potential to unlearn this harmful conditioning. - Theo Hilton, Nana Grizol

Sales of this single directly benefit SONG Power, a new sister organization to Southerners On New Ground (SONG). Founded in 1993, SONG is a Southern multi-racial anchor institution that organizes LGBTQ leaders to fight for and win policy, structural, and cultural change. SONG Power equips justice-loving Southerners with another toolbox to bring about liberation in our lifetime. SONG Power is pushing abolitionist policy demands and contending directly for power across the South -- by calling targets, and allies, by their names. In 2020 SONG Power is delegitimizing and denouncing Lindsey Graham and the right wing in South Carolina & running #MeltICE campaigns in two counties in Georgia.

lyrics

An order that confirms a license
A beauty that disguises violence
And oh we were complicit in our soft, insipid silence
The language that defines the landscape
The land descends into the sea
And try I might, I can’t unwrite
The worlds inscribed in me

You asked me did I know what I thought to be mine
I said all I had bought and built and stumbled on in time
And though I did believe the valence of my lines
a feeling lurked within, unnamed undefined

I did find comfort in the dream of simple pasts
Or found accountability to tough to task
And that’s a choice I make, a painful path not taught to take
A winning streak I best not break but I’m broken all the same

Inherited with my complexion
Little mirrored and no reflection
But my unmarked identities
Make claims at recollection

Stories that were told to me —oh—myths of modern ancestry—
Within a fence kept carefully, they made my world make sense
Or was it history books, were monuments just all it took?
The way the land retained its looks in preservation tense

We see these lies go sanitized, revised, returned again
Same stars arranged on different flags—new tourist logo pins
Oh Natchez and oh Destrehan, oh riverboat casino band
Oh sugarcane fields cross the land around plantation homes

The images encode aggressions
In answers that that evade the questions
False distance, fake nostalgia
And their calm, coercive lessons
And planters’ sons they make the laws now
The tourists disembark the planes
To go and spend their money
On a dream that nothing’s changed

credits

released June 16, 2020

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Nana Grizol Athens, Georgia

Nana Grizol is a rock band from Athens, GA. Their most recent album, South somewhere Else, is about growing up in that town. In addition to Theo, Jared, Robbee, and Matte, South Somewhere Else features BZ Gibbs, Sherri Miller, and Kym Register. Cover painting by Patrick Sprague ... more

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