“The Politics of Recognition and the Power of Place in Lumbee Women’s Poetry”

This presentation examines poetry by Lumbee women poets Barbara Braveboy-Locklear, Wendy Moore, Anetra L. Dial, and Becky Goins and considers how these writers approach issues of recognition, particularly land-based recognition, as well as notions of Southern identity. This presentation’s focus on women specifically allows for consideration of how social structures and systems, particularly land-based kinships, are reproduced among the Lumbee and how these social reproductions intersect with or complicate settler notions of recognition, sovereignty, and Southern-ness. This exploration of Lumbee literature thus suggests that state-recognized or unrecognized peoples may often already be engaging in alternatives to federal recognition that tie them to their lands and one another as sovereign entities, and their practices and ideas should be considered in larger discussions of Indigenous feminist praxis and alternatives to federal recognition, such as what Yellowknife Dene scholar Glen Coulthard calls “grounded normativity.”

Author: Jessica Cory