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Monday, December 5, 2022

The forgotten history of the US’ African American coal towns | BBC

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West Virginia has gained attention because to one of the country’s newest national parks, but the ruins of its African American coal villages reveal a richer past.

In the late 1800s, blue-collar laborers from Wales, Eastern Europe, and other remote regions of the world traveled to West Virginia to mine coal, which ultimately helped to build the cities that propelled America to the status of a worldwide superpower. The lively and occasionally tragic experiences of the area’s African American populations, which were essential to the industry and a developing Appalachian culture, are also absent from that account. The coal fields have virtually stopped producing coal after a century. But for Fields, West, and others, the historical significance of West Virginia’s African American miners is indisputable, and the opening of the new national park presents a chance to communicate that significance. It’s crucial to relay this tale, according to West. It is allowing us to have a better understanding of individuals who are close to us.



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