April Dobbins

Jones Farm is a lush, 688-acre family farm situated in the heart of western Alabama. Three generations of black women—Taffie (63), April (41), and Imani (14)—explore their very different ties to this place that shaped them and continues to exert a strange hold on their identities. This is the same plot of land that their ancestors once worked as slaves—a history that is important to their identities and to how they navigate the world. Through this intergenerational story, Alabamaland explores how a black family farm is still holding its ground, even if it is a precarious balance, and even if the future of agriculture is uncertain. The piece follows Taffie’s journey as she dedicates her life to this land, even though she’s an unlikely heir because she’s a woman. Will family farms survive and what is at stake for those who chose to stay? Are Southern communities interested in preserving this way of life, or do economic struggles overshadow farm preservation? What roles are women playing in a field that has been traditionally male-dominated? How, if at all, do younger generations relate to the family farm, and if they leave, what do they carry with them, if anything?