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Mtn. Talk: Women of Hemphill

Mtn. Talk: Women of Hemphill


Producer Willa Johnson’s Mom, Aunts and Grandmother in the early 1970s.

We begin our month long series of Mountain Talks celebrating Women’s History Month with a piece produced by Appalshop’s own Willa Johnson.  Willa produced this hour long radio documentary honoring a community of women who have powerfully shaped her own life and the town of Hemphill, Kentucky.  She interviews four Hemphill women she knows through church, school, and family:  Gwenn & Mabel Johnson, Susan Houston, and Dena Myers. 

This piece reflects on the labor of women versus the labor of industry – exploring women’s strength, leadership, faith and commitment to their community. They also talk about food and reflect on how the community has changed over the years. This personal exploration of the women who have shaped both Willa’s own life and the lives of so many in Hemphill paints a powerful picture about the importance of mountain women in our hollers and hills.








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