“I can’t imagine attempting to deal with this pandemic and continuing to deal with the epidemic of addiction, not to mention all the other chronic and acute diseases that people have,” without expanded Medicaid.
Kentucky is home to the largest cluster of black lung cases since the 1990s. The Republican state legislature now limits who can make a diagnosis. With the support of dissenting legislators, some miners are fighting back.
Last month Blount County Tennessee held its inaugural Cormac McCarthy Literary Arts Festival. Lou Murrey dives into the inspiration for the festival and how local libraries are creating space for the diversity of voices native to Southern Appalachia.
As the number of opioid-exposed babies born in the U.S. has peaked, the crisis is reshaping life in some Appalachian communities, where calls for new approaches to care for these babies and their mothers are growing louder.
This piece was originally published by 100 Days in Appalachia. Growing up in southern West Virginia in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Jeff Mann first came to terms with his sexual identity in the pages of Patricia Nell Warren’s “The Front Runner.” His favorite teacher, who confided to him that she was a lesbian, lent him the love story about a running coach and his star athlete.
“That’s how I learned I was gay,” Mann said. “I read a novel.”
His teenage revelation helped to name a lot of things he’d felt for years, but it also meant some new, hard truths for the West Virginia boy. If he were to be honest, Mann knew, he would likely be shunned from his little hometown of Hinton, or worse. Books and stories, however, offered a safe, inviting refuge, a place to learn and relate.
Tennessee-based writer and journalist S. Heather Duncan covers two recently published books by Jessica Wilkerson and Ginny Savage Ayers that uplift lesser known histories of Appalachian women at the heart of hard-fought labor struggles.