When I was younger, I believed being southern was inextricably linked with being religious. This assumption and main-stream media’s condescending picture of southern personalities led me in my teenage years to scrub myself of my identity founded in southern and Southern Baptist values. As it often goes in life, I feel differently now that I’m older. Examining what it means to be raised in the southern community of Northwest Florida, I relate my experiences to the identity I tried to abandon and how it persists in and influences my beliefs today.
     Embroidery is a skill both of my grandmothers have thoroughly developed, but the skill was not passed down to me. Teaching myself embroidery is my way of forcefully claiming and reinterpreting what it means to be a contemporary southern-raised woman finding independence.

     Brittani Brown is an artist born and raised in Mossy Head, FL and based in Orlando, FL. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Art in 2021 and is in the process of obtaining her M.F.A. in Emerging Media: Studio Art and Design in 2025 – both from the University of Central Florida. Her work studies her own reaction to poignant events of her childhood and encourages learning and understanding primarily using embroidery, printmaking, and photography. Brittani has participated in several group art exhibitions including First Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando Film Photography Association’s annual Film Photography Exhibition, and the Juried Graduate Exhibition at the University of Mississippi.
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