Cover

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Title page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Tables

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pp. viii-x

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Foreword

Nell Irvin Painter

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pp. xi-xii

The plural nature of American society makes its study endlessly fascinating, yet scholars and policymakers sometimes disregard the nuances of our complicated culture. Black Appalachians, whose experiences have not conformed to stereotypes of black life, are, for that reason, an invisible people. Southern and Afro-American...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-xvi

This volume evolved from the editors' reaction to some common assumptions about the black population of America in general and about that of Appalachia in particular. These assumptions, which enjoy almost axiomatic status, include the belief that ''American minorities (especially blacks) desire assimilation into...

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Introduction

William H. Turner

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pp. xvii-xxiii

During the past quarter century, there has been a profound and marked interest in Afro-American and Appalachian studies. This book combines the perspectives of both fields to examine some social themes about Appalachia as a geopolitical and social region of the American South and to trace the history and development...

List of Abbreviations

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p. xxiv

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Part One. Basic Approaches

The two essays in part 1 inquire into, and review key studies relating to, the existence of blacks in Appalachia.¹
Edward J. Cabbell asserts that institutional racism and overt forms of individual discrimination combine to suppress the human and work-related energies of blacks in the region. William...

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1. Black Invisibility and Racism in Appalachia: An Informal Survey

Edward J. Cabbell

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pp. 3-10

Ever since the formative years of the John Henry Memorial Foundation, Inc., in 1969, I have traveled extensively throughout the ARC-defined Central Appalachian Region seeking to understand the attitudes and values and heritage of fellow black Appalachians. From 1975 to 1978 I traveled full-time as the...

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2. Between Berea (1904) and Birmingham (1908): The Rock and Hard Place for Blacks in Appalachia

William H. Turner

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pp. 11-20

Students of the population(s) and culture of Appalachia, as well as scholars of the "general'' black experience, have consistently overlooked blacks in the region. The presence of black people in the Appalachian Mountains (especially the central highlands), the labor of blacks in the industrialization of the region...

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Part Two. Historical Perspectives

In part 2 of this volume we present some knowledgeable accounts of historical particularities that have shaped the current status of blacks in Appalachia. Theda Perdue offers information about the different kinds of blacks in Appalachia (those who arrived with white pioneers in the region as contrasted with those...

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3. Red and Black in the Southern Appalachians

Theda Perdue

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pp. 23-30

The first black Appalachians did not live under the control of white planters, railroad builders, lumber companies, or mine operators; instead, they lived within the domain of the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee Nation extended from its spiritual center at Kituwah, near present-day Bryson City, North Carolina...

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4. Freedom and Slavery in Appalachian America

Carter G. Woodson

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pp. 31-42

To understand the problem of harmonizing freedom and slavery in Appalachian America we must keep in mind two different stocks coming in some cases from the same mother country and subject here to the same government. Why they differed so widely was due to their peculiar ideals formed prior to their...

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5. Boyhood Days

Booker T. Washington

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pp. 43-50

After the coming of freedom there were two points upon which practically all the people on our place were agreed, and I find that this was generally true throughout the South: that they must change their names, and that they must leave the old plantation for at least a few days or weeks in order that they might...

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6. The Black South and White Appalachia

James C. Klotter

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pp. 51-68

Observers seemed to be depicting slave conditions in the antebellum South. One minister found the people "the worst housed, worst fed, most ignorant, most immoral" of any he had encountered. Others stressed the presence of homes that were mere hovels, of windowless log cabins with only one or two rooms. They...

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Part Three. Community Studies

Part 3 focuses on black Appalachia as a geographical and cultural unit. James T. Laing outlines an area-specific Appalachian context (West Virginia), rendering the structural conqitions of blacks at the point of origin, their plane-of-living/ quality-of-life, and their general status in the coal-mining sector of the southern...

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7. The Negro Miner in West Virginia

James T. Laing

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pp. 71-78

Although studies of Negro migration of the past two decades have pointed out the fact that every large exodus of Negroes from the south has contained a number whose destination was the mining fields of West Virginia¹ no sociological study has appeared of the Negro in this area.² Here Negroes occupy a...

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8. The Black Community in a Company Town: Alcoa, Tennessee, 1919-1939

Russell D. Parker

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pp. 79-92

For almost four decades, from the time of its incorporation in 1919 to 1956, when the first "outsider" was brought in as city manager, Alcoa, Tennessee, was a company town. There was a progressive facade, but neither city manager nor commission could "sharpen a pencil without getting approval from a Company...

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9. Class over Caste: Interracial Solidarity in the Company Town

David A. Corbin

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pp. 93-114

Although the UMWA made little headway in the southern West Virginia coal fields between 1890 and 1911, a powerful social force was already producing a collective mentality among the miners. By its contrived and rigid structure, the company town, while giving the coal operators extraordinary forms of power...

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Part Four. Race Relations

Does the history of respect for the individual so pervade Appalachia that whites in the region are less troubled by issues of race and are less prejudiced than their counterparts farther south? Kenneth Bailey and John Stanfield address this question.
"A Judicious Mixture" explores the melting pot theme, examining the ways...

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10. A Judicious Mixture: Negroes and Immigrants in the West Virginia Mines, 1880-1917

Kenneth R. Bailey

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pp. 117-132

In the first years of West Virginia's coal mining industry the labor force was made up primarily of native, white Americans who left their poor farms to work for the high wages available in the mines.¹ There were also some Negroes used in the mines either as slave labor or as free men. The use of Negroes became...

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11. The Sociohistorical Roots of White/ Black Inequality in Urban Appalachia: Knoxville and East Tennessee

John H. Stanfield

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pp. 133-144

The low-caste position of Knoxville's native black today can best be understood in sociohistorical terms. Racial inequality cannot be examined adequately without consideration of forces such as industrial development, migration patterns, and geographical location as well as racial ideologies. When these...

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Part Five. Black Coal Miners

Part 5 focuses on Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginiathe southern Appalachian region known for its abundant reserves of bituminous coal, in which blacks have historically been a major source of labor. The lead article is a part of Du Bois's monumental research into the central pattern of...

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12. The Black Worker

W.E.B. DuBois

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pp. 147-158

Easily the most dramatic episode in American history was the sudden move to free four million black slaves in an effort to stop a great civil war, to end forty years of bitter controversy, and to appease the moral sense of civilization.
From the day of its birth, the anomaly of slavery plagued a nation which...

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13. The Coal Mines

Herbert R. Northrup

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pp. 159-172

The bituminous coal industry has served as a laboratory for the development of many trade union policies. Of considerable importance is the manner in which the United Mine Workers has met the problem posed by the presence of large numbers of both white and Negro workers in the coal industry. The "miners'...

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14. Race and the United Mine Workers' Union in Tennessee: Selected Letters of William R. Riley, 1892-1895

Ronald L. Lewis

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pp. 173-182

Historians know very little about early labor organizers who laid the foundations of many modem unions. This invisibility is particularly true for that small number of dedicated black activists who sacrificed their own economic interests, safety, and sometimes dignity, for the labor union cause. Certainly this was...

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15. The Collapse of Biracial Unionism: The Alabama Coal Strike of 1908

Richard A. Straw

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pp. 183-198

In July 1908 the United Mine Workers of America authorized the calling of a strike in Alabama because of the refusal of many large coal companies there to renew a wage agreement that had expired the year before. This strike was one in a series that befell Alabama between 1894 and 1920, and it was as devastating in...

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Part Six. Blacks and Local Politics

Leon F. Williams and Jack Guillebeaux address the modem period of black mountain politics. According to Williams, white Appalachian xenophobia and the zealous guardianship of freedom from outside threats nourished the image of a calm climate in the region prior to the industrialization of the hills. The...

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16. The Vanishing Appalachian: How to "Whiten" the Problem

Leon F. Williams

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pp. 201-206

Nine years have passed since a social work professor confided, with candor, to a class of eager young West VIrginia University social work students that, "Appalachia may one day become one of the few regions in America without a black population."
This comment was made in 1964 and the passing years have been...

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17. Not Just Whites in Appalachia

Jack Guillebeaux

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pp. 207-210

During the early 1960s, America discovered Appalachia. Here tucked away among the stunningly beautiful mountains and valleys of a region that stretches from Mississippi to New York were millions of white Americans locked in a cycle of poverty and despair which rivaled the plight of the underdeveloped...

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Part Seven. Personal Anecdotal Accounts of Black Life

Part 7 seeks to link the scholarly and analytical tracts to the "word" as expressed in the recollections of blacks in the mountains. Reginald Millner conducted an oral history project which produced a narrative of his VIrginia family which was drawn to West VIrginia after the Civil War. As depicted by the son, the miner...

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18. Conversations with the "Ole Man": The Life and Times of a Black Appalachian Coal Miner

Reginald Millner

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pp. 213-222

In 1951 when I was born, my father James Efferson Millner was 45 years old. Though over half of his life had already been lived, he was still quite an energetic man.
As I grew older I observed how the years began to take their toll on my father's health. Black lung, arthritis, diabetes, and being "just plain tired" were...

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19. The Mountain Negro of Hazard, Kentucky

Pearl Cornett

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pp. 223-228

The reason we left Kentucky, we thought that there wasn't [enough] income coming to the family to educate our children and do the things we felt parents should be able to do. This was back in the early fifties; teachers' salaries were low and the biggest industry in these mountains was coal. Many of the coal...

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20. "If I Could Go Back…": An Interview with Dobbie Sanders

Groesbeck Parham and Gwen Robinson

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pp. 229-234

Fairfield, Alabama, is a company town, one of 17 residential areas near Birmingham built by the United States Steel Corporation. Nearly everyone who lives here work8-{)r has worked-in US Steel's local mills or mines.
Dobbie Sanders is one of those former employees. Now 85 years old...

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Part Eight. Selected Demographic Aspects

Part 8 reviews major research studies, including census references, and presents an analysis guided, in part, by a conscious attempt to follow the work of Belcher ("Population Growth and Characteristics") and Brown and Hillery ("The Great Migration, 1940-1960") in Ford's classic The Southern Appalachian Region...

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21. The Demography of Black Appalachia: Past and Present

William H. Turner

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pp. 237-261

This essay reviews changes in some of the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the black population in central and southern Appalachia only. There is no consensus on the exact boundaries of the region. First, any historical overview of blacks in the region is subject to artificial geographic constraints...

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Selected Bibliography

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pp. 262-266

Edward J. Cabbell's master's thesis, "References and Resources on Black Appalachians" (Appalachian State University, 1982), comes closer than any other document to being a comprehensive bibliography on Black Appalachia. The present listing consists of works judged to be relevant to further study of topics covered in this anthology. Single asterisks...

Resource Guide

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pp. 267-274

Sources and Contributors

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pp. 275-277