The Activist History Review

This essay is part two of a two-part series. Click here for the introduction, and here for part one. 

by Matthew Sparks

“Because they want to be thought of as a rich nation, they are very ashamed of this place that has come to represent poverty, even though poverty exists all over the country, and exists as much in urban areas as it does in rural, if not more.”

~Eastern Kentucky author, Silas House, on  mainstream America’s view of Appalachia.

Appalachia. Say it out loud, correctly: App-uh-latch-uh.

It has a beautiful ring to it, doesn’t it? It rings like wind chimes blowing on the porch in a gentle breeze on a sunny summer afternoon. Like rainwater pouring in rivulets down a coal deposit. Like the twang of cast-iron cookware, Pentecostal cymbals, or a “thank-ye”, “bless-ye”, or “see ye tomorrey”—the beauty of Appalachia is raw, resonant, and resilient.

The severe, rugged landscape…

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