For generations, rural families in the Alabama Black Belt grew and hunted what they needed to sustain themselves. Wild game was a major and critical part of the diet. Today, hunting is still a popular Black Belt pursuit, but it’s less about sustenance and more about camaraderie, challenge, and immersion in nature. We meet Jerry Dawson, a coon hunter in Sumter County, who illuminates the world of coon dogs, and Nikki Baker, a dove hunter in Marengo County, who loves to beat all the men on the field (and often does) to the 15 bird limit.
This batch of Gravy is reported and produced by Jackie Clay, Executive Director at the Coleman Center for the Arts in rural Sumter County, Alabama; Matt Whitson; an award-winning production audio mixer and video editor at Alabama Public Television in Birmingham, Alabama; and Emily Blejwas, Executive Director of the Alabama Folklife Association and author of The Story of Alabama in Fourteen Foods (UA Press).