Sun Stained by RaMell Ross in Greensboro, Alabama, USA

Greensboro, Alabama does exist. It sits on a sun-stained swath of land south of Birmingham. The dirt in this region is a markedly dark, nutrient riddled breed of soil; originally earning this widespread region its name: Black Belt.

As the flagship of Hale County, Greensboro is minuscule, with the population maxing at 2,300. It’s all a Faulkner narrative could convey. Within a classically aged disposition it harbors the archetypal features of small town America including the characters and characteristics that render any southern novel accurate; the town drunk, the omnipresent nosey sourpuss, the haunted mansion, each living cliché contributing to Greensboro’s modern mythology. In contrast, there are progressive elements of contemporary thought stationed periodically throughout the county. There are non-profits contributing to the green movement harnessing the potential for use of local resources. Pecan brittle and bamboo bike businesses have emerged inspired by the underused local products.

Working here for the last two years at a grass roots level to combat the social issues rampant in this region has brought some of the most joyful moments and fulfilling relationships of my life. It is through these experiences that I have come to understand the culture of Greensboro and its exclusion from contemporary society. The high school dropout rate is deplorable and most of the town is dependent on government services. The system is broken in this region and it has always been. It’s just so easy to change the subject.

Name:RaMell Ross

Place you live: Greensboro, Alabama

Place your photo was taken: A local gas station

Occupation: Photographer/Educator

Preoccupation: Philosophizing/Chess

A perfect day in Greensboro? The heat settles below stifling, shifted occasionally by a damp breeze towing the aroma of grilling. People wave to each other not due to southern hospitality but the acknowledgment of another working towards the betterment of the community.

If someone was visiting for the first time for one day only, what must they do? Extend their stay

A perfect meal in Greensboro? A 20 minute drive to JR’s for the world’s best burger, milk shake, and fries.

A little known fact about where you live? Walker Evans took a photo on Main Street.


  • Brittany Nichole Drake

    This is not at all accurate. First of all our town has our faults but the people here are some of the best you’ll ever meet. There are those of us who work hard ’round here for what we have and are proud of it! You obviously didnt venture far out in our community if you didnt notice most here are farmers, whether it be fish, cattle or produce. Blood, sweat, and tears have fallen on parts of this soil you have never even stepped foot on, so the way you have portrayed our small town is an insult to us all. As far as the good food goes, you obviously didnt walk to the end of Main Street to the Mustang Oil, where by chance I am a waitress in that small restaurant resembling nothing but a convenience store. Ill have you know we cook the best catfish and steaks you’ll ever put in your mouth. Our Sheriff is one of the best men you’ll ever have the chance to meet. He works hard for our community along with the other officials of our town, and better believe we will sitting right there on that church pew come Sunday morning. We are blessed ’round here of the likes you can’t imagine, so next time you decide to write an article make sure you have actually “been” a part of our community before judging. We can rally together and help each other in the likes of which you’ve never seen when we fall on hard times. That’s what makes us a stronger, upstanding community, and all that really matters.

  • Regina Stapleton

    obviously this person doesn’t understand and never will understand Greensboro and it’s residents. If you can’t tell the truth about a locale you should not write about it.