Alabama’s Black Belt has always been a place of migration: the site of both forced and elective movement. Today, our reasons for leaving and coming home are still shaped by the desire for better lives and livelihoods. In “Migration: Making Meals and Homes in Alabama,” we meet three women whose very different paths all led to a home in the Black Belt: Maria escaped violence in Mexico; Margaret fled religious persecution in Egypt; and Sarah came home to do some good, opening Abadir’s Light Fare and Pastry in Greensboro. Their stories remind us that the Alabama Black Belt is and always has been home to all kinds of people and all kinds of passage.

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).

Photo of Sarah Cole is courtesy of Tuscaloosa News.