Anti-Racist Appalachia Reading List

This collection of resources is a project of Anti-Racist Appalachia, a grassroots collective of anti-colonial and anti-racist activists organizing in Central Appalachia. This reading list aims to put together works which challenge white supremacy and settler colonialism in Appalachia, or which help provide a basis on which to build solidarity work. This reading list is a work in progress.

If you any suggestions for inclusion, please let me know at You can follow ARA here.


Brown, Karida. (2018). Gone home: Race and roots through Appalachia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Caison, Gina. (2018). Red states: Indigeneity, settler colonialism, and Southern Studies. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Cave, Alfred. (2006). Prophets of the Great Spirit: Native American revitalization movements in eastern North America. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Cox, Brent Yanusdi. (1999). Heart of the eagle: Dragging Canoe and the emergence of the Chickamauga Confederacy. Milan: Chenanee Publishers.

Dunaway, Wilma. (1996). The first American frontier: Transition to capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Dunaway, Wilma. (2003). Slavery in the American Mountain South. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hayden, Wilburn. (2015). Appalachian Black People: Identity, location, and racial barriers. Pittsburgh: 91 South.

Inscoe, John, ed. (2001). Appalachians and race: The Mountain South from slavery to segregation. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Lewis, Ronald. (1987). Black coal miners in America: Race, class, and community conflict, 1780-1980. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Pudup, Mary Beth, et al., eds. (1995). Appalachia in the making: The Mountain South in the nineteenth century. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Sakai, J. (2014). Settlers: The mythology of the white proletariat from Mayflower to modern. Montreal: Kersplebedeb.

Schrift, Melissa. (2013). Becoming Melungeon: Making an ethnic identity in the American South. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.

Trotter, Joe. (1990). Coal, class, and color: Blacks in southern West Virginia, 1915-32. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

Turner, William, and Edward Cabbell, eds. (1985). Blacks in Appalachia. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.

Walker, Frank X. (2000). Affrilachia. Lexington: Old Cove Press. See also Pluck!: The Journal of Affrilachian Arts and Culture.

Wright, George. (1990). Racial violence in Kentucky, 1865-1940: Lynchings, mob rule, and “legal lynchings.” Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press.

Activist / Popular Articles

Allen, Reniqua. (2016). In W.Va., fortunes of black minority fall along with coal. Al Jazeera America.

Blaut, Sam. (2018). Tree-sits, pipelines, and plantations: White supremacy in environmental activism. LOOP.

Blaut, Sam. (2018). West Virginian politics is “Trumpier than Trump.” LOOP.

Iafrate, Michael. (2018). Appalachia isn’t all white, all poor, all passive. National Catholic Reporter.

MC0. (1992). Pittston strike shows depth of white working class alliance. MIM Theory, 1, 27-28.

McCommons, Jillean. (2017). Who’s an outsider? Let’s not forget Appalachia’s real natives. Lexington Herald-Leader.

Pearson, Stephen. (2018). How to pronounce Appalachia. Yappalachia.

Quinn, Ryan. (2015). Study: Black students disproportionately punished in WV schoolsCharleston Gazette-Mail. Link to the study described in this article.

Wilkerson, Jessica. (2018). Unraveling the hidden Black history of Appalachian activism. 100 Days in Appalachia.

Wise, Tim. (2018). Weaponizing Appalachia. Medium.

Peer-Reviewed Articles / Theses and Dissertations

Allen, Fayetta. (1974). Blacks in Appalachia. The Black Scholar, 5(9), 42-51.

Brown, Karida, et al. (2016). Ruin’s progeny: Race, environment, and Appalachia’s coal camp blacks. Du Bois Review, 13(2), 327-344.

Dunaway, Wilma. Incorporation as an interactive process: Cherokee Resistance to expansion of the capitalist world-system, 1560-1763. Sociological Inquiry, 66(4), 455-470.

Fain, Cicero. (2009). Race, river, and the railroad: Black Huntington, West Virginia, 1871-1929. Dissertation, The Ohio State University.

Fain, Cicero. (2012). Into the crucible: The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and the black industrial worker in southern West Virginia, 1870-1900. Journal of Appalachian Studies, 17(1-2), 42-65.

Hartman, Ian. (2012). Appalachian anxiety: Race, gender, and the paradox of “purity” in an age of empire, 1873-1901. American Nineteenth Century History, 13(2), 229-255.

Hill, Herbert. (1988). Myth-making as labor history: Herbert Gutman and the United Mine Workers of America. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 2(2), 132-200.

Jenkins, Rebecca. (2015). Forgotten: Scioto County’s lost Black history. Master’s thesis, Bowling Green State University.

Kozlowski, Michelle, and Harold Perkins. (2016). Environmental justice in Appalachian Ohio?: An expanded consideration of privilege and the role it plays in defending the contaminated status quo in a white, working-class community. Local Environment, 21(10), 1288-1304.

Moon, Dreama, and Thomas Nakayama. (2005). Strategic social identities and judgments: A murder in Appalachia. Howard Journal of Communications, 16(2), 87-107.

Pearson, Stephen. (2013). “The last bastion of colonialism”: Appalachian settler colonialism and self-indigenizationAmerican Indian Culture and Research Journal, 37(2), 165-184.

Satterwhite, Emily. (2005). “That’s what they’re all singing about”: Appalachian heritage, Celtic pride, and American nationalism at the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Appalachian Journal, 32(3), 302-338.

Satterwhite, Emily. (2008). Imagining home, nation, world: Appalachia on the Mall. Journal of American Folklore, 121(479), 10-34.

Satterwhite, Emily. (2010). Objecting to insider/outsider politics and the uncritical celebration of Appalachia. Appalachian Journal, 38(1), 68-73.

Smith, Barbara Ellen. (2004). De-gradations of whiteness: Appalachia and the complexities of race. Journal of Appalachian Studies, 10(1-2), 38-57.

Stump, Brandon. (2010). From Reconstruction to Obama: Understanding Black invisibility, racism in Appalachia, and the legal community’s responsibility to promote a dialogue on race at the WVU College of Law. West Virginia Law Review, 112, 1095-1137.

Troutman, Stephanie. (2017). Fabulachia: Urban, black female experiences and higher education in Appalachia. Race Ethnicity and Education, 20(2), 252-263.

Turner, William. (2011). Affrilachia as brand. Appalachian Heritage, 39(4), 27-30.

Whitewolf-Marsh, Vicki. (2003). Ohio is not without its share of problems. American Indian Quarterly, 27(1-2), 452-455.

Wolfe, Patrick. (2006). Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native. Journal of Genocide Research, 8(4), 387-409.

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