From Appalachia to the Caribbean: Writing Toward a Cultural Connection at KWLS
My husband and I are on a plane to Key West, where I am participating in this year’s Key West Literary Seminar as a Teacher and Librarian Scholarship winner. The theme is “Writers of the Caribbean,” and we will be joined by writers like Jamaica Kincaid (born in Antigua), Edwidge Danticat (Haiti), and Marlon James (Jamaica.)
I went to Key West with the understanding that I was learning and thinking from a position of white privilege, having grown up in a culture seemingly far-removed from those represented in the literature of this seminar. But I was also seeking a connection-however tenuous-between my rural Appalachian culture and theirs. Later, I realized that very connection may be the question of appropriation, and whether it can be both theft and tribute.