Gov. Ivey honors state’s first Black poet laureate

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Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey presents a commendation to the state’s first Black poet laureate, Ashley M. Jones, during a ceremony at the Capitol in Montgomery, Ala., on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. Jones, a creative writing teacher from Birmingham, delves into the pain and difficulty of being Black in America. Her most recent book is a collection of poems titled “Reparations Now!” (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s governor is honoring the state’s first Black poet laureate, a creative writing teacher from Birmingham who delves into the pain and difficulty of being Black in America.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey presented a commendation Wednesday to 31-year-old Ashley M. Jones. Jones’ most recent book is a collection of poems titled “Reparations Now!”

In it, she writes about reparations not just in terms of money but in the fuller sense of rebuilding a society fractured by generations of racial violence, division and prejudice.

Jones says she believes poetry should tell the truth, and she hopes she can spread that message through the new position.

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