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Posted inMarjorie Reads

15 Must-Read Stories By Florida Women

No one tells a better Florida story than the people who know this state intimately — either from living here or from engaging with Florida issues in a thoughtful way. As we reflect on a chaotic and confusing year, we draw inspiration from stories written by Florida women that we admire. Here are some of our favorite stories from 2020, presented in no particular order, and why we love them.

Posted inThe Fruits of Their Labor

Part I: The ‘Symbolism’ of Slavery

Universities are facing mounting pressure to stop using the unpaid labor of incarcerated people. In June, the University of Florida announced it was ending the use of prison labor on its agricultural research farms, a practice once praised by administrators. Questions remain on whether other universities in the U.S. South will follow suit.

Posted inThe Fruits of Their Labor

Part II: Powered by Prisons

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has relied on incarcerated people from state prisons and county jails for at least a decade to keep some of its agricultural research stations running. As the practice comes to an end, administrators are reallocating funds and finding new ways to power the state’s agricultural research.

Posted inLessons from the Marjories

‘A Unique Perfection’

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings had a special affinity toward southern magnolias, exulting in the beauty of the magnolia tree that grew in the orange grove next to her one-story wooden cottage in North Florida. “There is no such thing in the world as an ugly tree, but the magnolia grandiflora has a unique perfection,” Rawlings wrote in “Cross Creek.”

Author and professor Leslie Kemp Poole shares how Rawlings reminds us that we need to find our own moments and places of enchantment, however small they are or however brief the experience—especially a flowering tree—and let them enrich our days.

Posted inShifting Power

Part I: Becoming Invisible

As it does for many, Latashia Brimm’s pathway to a felony conviction started at a very young age. For her, it began with a sexually and emotionally abusive stepfather and a pattern of domestic violence. The fight to pass Amendment 4, also known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, spoke to Brimm’s need to regain her civic power and personal independence. With the right to vote reclaimed, she felt she would no longer be invisible.