Mtn. Talk: Reclaiming Black Histories in Appalachia
On this special MLK Day edition of Mountain Talk we bring you an interview with Terran Young, Willie Dodson, William Isom, and Marley Green about their work to register, clean-up, and document Black cemeteries in Southwestern Virginia, and to counter the erasure of Black histories in narratives of Appalachia.
Terran Young talks about generations of her family buried in a largely-forgotten Black cemetery in SW VA, and her goal of paying homage to her ancestors through cleaning up this cemetery. Willie Dodson shares stories of how he first got involved in the work of registering cemeteries through his work organizing against mountain top removal in the region. William Isom II discusses his ongoing research and documentation of Black Communities in Appalachia and the importance of shifting narratives in the region to include Black communities, and communities of color. And Marley Green talks about the ways in which his job at Appalshop allows him to support this work as community development.