Alabama

Rusty Wright
Courtesy of The Rusty Wright Band

The Rusty Wright Band made its second public appearance in 2004 when a booking agent asked at the last minute if they could open for Lynyrd Skynyrd. That rain-soaked, lightning-infused concert was an electric start to a career that includes five album releases and tours all over the world. 

Catherine Coleman Flowers

Lowndes County, Alabama covers more than 700 square miles in the south-central portion of the state. It is part of the Black Belt, a region with dense soil that was once the site of thriving cotton plantations. The area declined rapidly during industrialization, and the chalky, clay soil that was once the key to thriving cotton fields, became a disaster for sewage systems. To this day, large swaths of Lowndes County residents have either inadequate or no septic system, which leads to a wide range of environmental and public health issues.

Producer Hady Mawajdeh fulling around behind the mic.
Carol Jackson

As the year draws to a close, The State of Things staff take a look back at some of their favorite segments of 2014. 

Cover to the first installment of John Lewis' March trilogy of graphic novels
topshelfcomix.com

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was once inspired to fight for civil rights by a comic book about Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent protest in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Forever (for Old Lady Sally) - Loretta Bennett
paulsonbottpress.com

    

In 2002, the art world was rocked to its foundation by a group of unusual, abstract quilts made by African American women from Gee’s Bend, Alabama.