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Although southern Appalachia is popularly seen as a purely white enclave, blacks have lived in the region from early times. Some hollows and coal camps are in fact almost exclusively black settlements. The selected readings in this new book offer the first comprehensive presentation of the black experience in Appalachia.

Organized topically, the selections deal with the early history of blacks in the region, with studies of the black communities, with relations between blacks and whites, with blacks in coal mining, and with political issues. Also included are a section on oral accounts of black experiences and an analysis of black Appalachian demography. The contributors range from Carter Woodson and W. E. B. Du Bois to more recent scholars such as Theda Perdue and David A. Corbin. An introduction by the editors provides an overall context for the selections.

Blacks in Appalachia focuses needed attention on a neglected area of Appalachian studies. It will be a valuable resource for students of Appalachia and of black history.

William H. Turner is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kentucky State University.

Edward J. Cabbell is director of the John Henry Memorial Foundation in West Virginia.

Publication Date



The University Press of Kentucky

Place of Publication

Lexington, KY






African Americans, Appalachian Region


African American Studies | Appalachian Studies

Blacks in Appalachia
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