Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed
Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: University of Illinois Press
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I cannot begin to express how deeply grateful I am to the twelve strong, brave, and determined women whose stories fill this book. Donetta Blankenship, Teri Blanton, Donna Branham, Pauline Canterberry, Maria Gunnoe, Debbie Jarrell, Maria Lambert, Joan Linville, Mary Miller, Patty Sebok, and Lorelei Scarboro, you are amazing individuals. Judy Bonds, words do not adequately ...
List of Figures
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It’s not just what I choose to do, it’s also, I think, what I have to do. I’ve always been a very fierce protector of my kids, and I’m still doing that. I’m still protecting what I have left. . . . You know that tall purple flower that’s all over the mountains at the end of summer? Have you ever tried to pull it out of the ...
1. "How Can They Expect Me as a Mother to Look Over That?": Maria Gunnoe's Fight for Her Chilcren's
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Maria Gunnoe in her beloved West Virginia mountains. Photo courtesy of Giles Ashford.Maria Gunnoe is a lifelong resident of Bob White, West Virginia, and takes great pride in her Cherokee heritage. She is a community organizer with the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and recipient of numerous awards, including the University of Michigan Wallenberg Medal (2012), the Goldman Environmental ...
2. "We Became Two Determined Women": Pauline Canterberry and Mary Miller Become the Sylvester Dustb
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Mary Miller and Pauline Canterberry, the “Sylvester Dustbusters,” at the entrance After coal is mined, it must be chemically cleaned and crushed in order to pre-pare it for burning in coal-fired power plants. Communities neighboring such plants, such as the town of Sylvester in Boone County, West Virginia, contend with massive amounts of coal dust in the air, making life unbearable for some ...
3. "Let Us Live in Our Mountains": Joan Linville's Fight for her Homeland
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Joan Linville and her camera, which she uses to document problems the coal companies Joan Linville was born in Kentucky in 1938. When she was eight months old, her family moved to Boone County, West Virginia, where she has lived most of her life. I interviewed Joan at her home in Van in July 2007. She was also a participant in the Photovoice project I organized from 2008 to 2009, and some of the pho-...
4. "You Gotta Go and Do Everything You Can--Fight for Your Kids": Donetta Blankenship Speaks Out ag
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Donetta Blankenship holding jars of coal slurry–contaminated well water from her Donetta Blankenship lives in Rawl, West Virginia, where residents’ well water became contaminated with coal slurry from an underground coal waste injection site. Before coal is sent to market for processing, it must be cleaned in order to re-duce sulfur and noncombustible materials present in the coal. The waste product ...
5. "It's Just a Part of Who I Am": Maria Lambert and the Movement for Clean Water in Prenter
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Maria Lambert enjoying a warm spring day in Boone County, West Virginia. Photo by Maria Lambert is a lifelong resident of the community of Prenter in Boone County, West Virginia. Born in 1958, Maria lived most of her life in Prenter “Main Camp,” which is one of the former coal camps situated in Prenter Hollow. In 2000, she and her family moved a few miles down the road to a piece of family land in ...
6. "I'm Not an Activist against Coal; I'm an Activist for the Preservation of My State": Teri Blanto
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Teri Blanton at the annual “I Love Mountains Day” at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. Photo courtesy of Kentuckians For The Commonwealth.Teri Blanton is one of the most well-known environmental justice activists in Ken-tucky. A community leader with Kentuckians For The Commonwealth (KFTC), Teri has been fighting to hold the coal industry accountable to Appalachian com-...
7. "I'm Not Going to Be Run Out, I'm Not Going to Be Run Over, I'm Not Going Out without a Fight": P
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Patty Sebok wearing a shirt printed with her favorite quote, “Well behaved women seldom make history” (Laurel Thatcher Ulrich). Photo by the author.Patty Sebok is a lifelong resident of the Coal River Valley in Boone County, West Virginia, and has been an outspoken activist against overweight coal trucks and irresponsible mining practices for more than a decade. Born in 1955, Patty spent ...
8. "Our Roots Run So Deep, You Can't Distinguish Us from the Earth We Live On": Debbie Jarrell and t
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Debbie Jarrell and her husband Ed Wiley became involved in the environmen-tal justice movement when they initiated a campaign to move the students of Marsh Fork Elementary School to a safer learning environment. The children who attended this school, one of whom was their granddaughter Kayla, played in a playground that stood in the shadow of a massive coal preparation plant with ...
9. "It's Not Just What I Choose to Do, It's Also, I Think, What I Have to Do": Lorelei Scarboro's Dr
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Figure 24. Lorelei Scarboro at the Central Appalachian Women’s Tribunal on Cli-mate Justice. Charleston, West Virginia; May 10, 2012. Photo by the author.For many years, Lorelei Scarboro has been involved in local struggles for justice in her community. She has been an activist and leader in the movement against school consolidation, she has fought to protect Coal River Mountain from ...
10. "Money Cannot Recreate What Nature Gives You": Donna Branham's Struggle against Mountaintop Remo
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Donna Branham at the Central Appalachian Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice. Donna Branham lives in the community of Lenore in Mingo County, West Vir-ginia. She lives on a small subsistence farm where she and her husband Charlie raise chickens, keep bees, and grow vegetables and grapes. She became active in the environmental justice movement when permits for mountaintop-removal ...
11. "I Want My Great-Great Grandchildren to Be Able to Live on the Earth!": The Legacy of the Coura
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Winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2003 and appearing in dozens of films, books, and articles, Julia “Judy” Bonds is one of the most well-known faces of the anti–mountaintop-removal movement. The Appalachian activist family suffered a heart-breaking loss on January 3, 2011, when Judy died of cancer. Hundreds—if not thousands—grieved her passing across the nation. Fierce and ...
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We’re being sacrificed here for energy for the rest of the world. else to have cheap energy? For a world of people that’s already pampered to death. It’s the injustice of it. Honey, this is discrimi-The twelve women whose stories fill this book have watched their communi-ties, their mountains, their streams, their homes, their families, and their own ...
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013