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Colorblind bigotry, religion is shunned here

Jo Miller-Frost, Beckley, WV. I have been explicitly informed at work to not discuss my religious background with anyone, but my students, who have never had a cross burned in their yards, can call me racist. Recently, my religious views were labeled. Part of my “eccentricities”

Hillbilly White Trash? I’m Oxford educated.

C. B, WV. I grew up poor in a rural West Virginia. My race, the way I talk and where I’m from immediately make people assume I’m illiterate, uneducated, and deeply racist without ever actually talking to me. The irony… I get so angry at how common and acceptable it is to use Hee-Haw accents […]

We Hillbilles are people too, really!

Cathy Jo Deusenberry, Davis, CA. No matter where you land in life, if you come from the hills of West Virginia you will always be a Hillbilly. We are nothing like the toothless uneducated people depicted in films, television and books. We are hard working folks with teeth!

Appalachian oppression is a minority issue

Rebekah Epling, Ripley, WV. Appalachian people are treated in this country as second-class citizens. It is perfectly acceptable for mainstream media to characterize Appalachian people in ways that would incite outrage and not be published were it about another minority group. Just because the majority of Appalachian people are white, does not mean it is […]

Braiding red bones and white blood.

Bari Goodblood Lehn Wetzel County, WV Born to a Santee Sioux mother and a German father in the Midwest. They met and married when she was relocated to the city as part of termination policy for reservation Indians in the 1950’s. Four babies later, for reasons I never knew, she left us, taking with her […]

Don’t bring home black…or Jew.

Linda Skillett Daniels, WV I grew up with a blue collar dad and stay at home mom. I started to date in the late 70s and my mom told me one day not to bring home a black….or a Jew. My dad was a racist but not my mom. I guess she learned, even as […]

Appalachian does not always mean “hillbilly”

B. D. R. Huntington, WV While I was born in Appalachia, I am not a West Virginia native. Still I tend to get my dander up whenever someone decides to pick on the region because of their ignorance. Almost 20 years ago I took a newspaper job in Connecticut and was very excited that my […]