Featuring: Mary June Blakely; Nona Bennett
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Sweetgrass is a historical tract of land in South Carolina
that has been home to the Blakely family for eight
generations. But Sweetgrass -- named for the indigenous
grass that grows in the area -- is in trouble. Taxes are
skyrocketing. Bulldozers are leveling the surrounding
properties. And the Blakelys could be forced to sell the
one thing that continues to hold their disintegrating
For Mary June Blakely, the prospect of leaving is
bittersweet. Her life at Sweetgrass has been filled with
both joy and heartache. She's raised her children here,
but watched as tragedy drove them away. And though she
knows leaving would finally mend her heart, moving her ill
husband from the land he loves would break his. So she
finds the strength to stay and fight -- for her children,
her marriage and her home.
For Nona Bennett, the prospect of Sweetgrass being sold is
unimaginable. Her family has woven the grass into baskets
since the days of slavery, and her stake in the land has
endured for generations. Nona's roots are as embedded in
the Blakely family as her beloved sweetgrass is in the
earth. She has seen firsthand the pain that they have
suffered, and she alone understands that they can heal
only once they decide what it really means to be a family.
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