All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Kerry Madden-Lunsford

Advisory Committee Members

Anamaria Santiago

James Braziel

Kyle Grimes

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences


When I was growing up, I was taught that the worst thing I could possibly do was date a black boy…by my peers, my community, and most of all my family. This moral teaching never did sit well with me, but soon I found myself giving in to their teachings and becoming a reflection of the environment I was raised in. However, as soon as I moved to college, I found that there were far more perspectives than that of those that I had been fed in the small town from which I came. And no longer was I a naïve child for initially wanting to resist the wrongful morals I had been taught. Grits and Giggles is a creative nonfiction graphic novel centered in the theme of Southern comedy that explores the whimsical, fun side of life in the South while also highlighting some of its problematic areas. The book is divided into humorous stories told through the eyes of family members at the dinner table, and stories that explore the hatred that is often passed down through southern families like mine. The latter of which are told through the eyes of the protagonist, Caroline (i.e., myself). But although my family’s teachings have been flawed, I have also been blessed with one of the most supportive and loving families in my community. While many stories that center around family tend to portray family members in either a positive or negative light, this memoir does both as a means of highlighting the complexity that comes with family, especially in a place like rural Alabama. All names of characters and places have been changed to pseudonyms in order to protect the identities of the people involved as well as the authenticity of their stories.



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