Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia

Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia

by Karida L. Brown


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Since the 2016 presidential election, Americans have witnessed countless stories about Appalachia: its changing political leanings, its opioid crisis, its increasing joblessness, and its declining population. These stories, however, largely ignore black Appalachian lives. Karida L. Brown's Gone Home offers a much-needed corrective to the current whitewashing of Appalachia. In telling the stories of African Americans living and working in Appalachian coal towns, Brown offers a sweeping look at race, identity, changes in politics and policy, and black migration in the region and beyond.

Drawn from over 150 original oral history interviews with former and current residents of Harlan County, Kentucky, Brown shows that as the nation experienced enormous transformation from the pre- to the post-civil rights era, so too did black Americans. In reconstructing the life histories of black coal miners, Brown shows the mutable and shifting nature of collective identity, the struggles of labor and representation, and that Appalachia is far more diverse than you think.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469647036
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 09/24/2018
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 750,420
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Karida L. Brown is assistant professor of sociology and African American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

With rich and accessible prose, Karida Brown's Gone Home stands as an authoritative study of black life in Harlan County. It captures the resilience and cultural dynamism of a people often rendered invisible in coal country."—Frank X. Walker, University of Kentucky

Karida Brown has given readers an insightful, innovative, and much needed reminder that, yes, there are African Americans in Appalachia, and theirs is a fascinating and important story." —Stewart Tolnay, co-author of Lynched: The Victims of Southern Mob Violence

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