"The embracing Sweet Magnolia
connotes the sheltering shade trees of the South and the protective lullaby of rustling leaves... Like the trees planted on Kongo graves, [sweet magnolia] is a watchguard of spirits. Her roots reach from below ground to the heavens, from death to life beyond, from past to future; they provide ascent to the "other world" – passage (and release) from darkness to light, from South to North."
Susan Krane, "Digging in the Dirt: Alison Saar's Fertile Ground" in Exh. Cat., Atlanta, High Museum of Art, Alison Saar: Fertile Ground, 1993, p. 10