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Recording Black History in Eastern Kentucky (with Dr. William Turner)

Recording Black History in Eastern Kentucky (with Dr. William Turner)

In the 1920s, Harlan County, Kentucky was a thriving center of Black life.

The good and the bad often came together. In this episode, we listen to the dedication of a new roadside memorial to Leonard Woods, a Black man from Jenkins, Kentucky who was lynched in Pound, Virginia. Reverend Steve Peake of Fleming-Neon, Kentucky dedicates the memorial with a prayer.

Then, we hear from Dr. William Turner. Dr. Turner, writer of acclaimed sociological book “Blacks in Appalachia”, grew up in the multicultural coal camp town of Lynch as the son of a Black coal miner. Now, in his latest work, “Harlan Renaissance”, Turner writes a memoir of his own life, intertwined history of his hometown. This talk by Turner was given at the Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Hazard, Kentucky.

Music from this episode comes from Appalshop film “East Kentucky Social Club”, about an annual reunion of the Black Harlan County diaspora that continues to occur annually.

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