Download Back Talk from Appalachia: Confronting Stereotypes by Dwight B. Billings, Visit Amazon's Gurney Norman Page, PDF

By Dwight B. Billings, Visit Amazon's Gurney Norman Page, search results, Learn about Author Central, Gurney Norman, , Katherine Ledford

Appalachia has lengthy been stereotyped as a sector of feuds, moonshine stills, mine wars, environmental destruction, joblessness, and hopelessness. Robert Schenkkan's 1992 Pulitzer-Prize successful play The Kentucky Cycle once more followed those stereotypes, recasting the yankee fable as a narrative of repeated failure and poverty--the failure of the yankee spirit and the poverty of the yankee soul. Dismayed through nationwide critics' loss of realization to the damaging depictions of mountain humans within the play, a bunch of Appalachian students rallied opposed to the stereotypical representations of the region's humans. In again speak from Appalachia, those writers speak again to the yank mainstream, confronting head-on those that view their domestic quarter one-dimensionally. The essays, written through historians, literary students, sociologists, inventive writers, and activists, offer numerous responses. a few learn the assets of Appalachian mythology in 19th- and early twentieth-century literature. Others display own stories and examples of grassroots activism that confound and contradict authorized photographs of ""hillbillies."" the amount ends with a sequence of reviews aimed at once on the Kentucky Cycle and related modern works that spotlight the sociological, political, and cultural assumptions approximately Appalachia fueling state-of-the-art fake stereotypes.

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7. Quoted in "Signs of the Times:' Appalachian Journal (winter 1995) Vol. 22, no. 2: 139. 8. Quoted in "Signs of the Times:' Appalachian Journal (fall 1993) Vol. 21, no. 1: 23. 9. ) Herald-Leader, April 19, 1996, B5. 10. w. Williamson, Hillbillyland: What the Movies Did to the Mountains and What the Mountains Did to the Movies (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1995). 11. See the complete text of a 1991 Appalachian Studies Association symposium on Albion's Seed and David Hackett Fischer's comments in the Appalachian Journal 19 (winter 1992): 161-200.

Wilhelm insists that "geographical isolation for the mountain folk is a myth:'7 Several major works which subsequently dealt with the topic presented variations on Wilhelm's theme. 8 Steven Hahn's study of up-country Georgia between 1850 and 1890 argues that during the antebellum era local farmers were isolated from the external markets and so they relied on community networks, but after the railroad penetrated the region they became increasingly dependent on the cotton export market. 9 Lacy Ford came to a different conclusion in his study of antebellum up-country South Carolina.

Note: The number of blacks and Hungarians would be considerably larger if figures for the Virginia portion of the Pocahontas field were available, because one of the largest employers of black and Hungarian miners in the field was located just across the state line. 61 IndustrializingAppalachia was a matrix of cultural interaction among very diverse races and cultures. Coal operators sought a "judicious mixture" of native whites, blacks, and foreign immigrants to balance the dissonant cultural traits that were seen as weaknesses by the operators.

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