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Only recently have scholars come to fully discover the complex relationships of blacks and whites in the southern Appalachians, both before and after emancipation. From slave labor in iron works, coalfields, and salt mines to postwar racial violence and Jim Crow oppression, the integral role of African Americans in highland society is at last being acknowledged.
The eighteen essays in this collection recognize not only a far greater African American presence in the highland South than was once assumed but a wider variety of interaction between blacks and whites during the nineteenth century. Leading scholars of Appalachian studies explore topics as varied as black migration into and out of the region, educational and religious missions directed at African Americans, the musical influences of interracial contacts, and much more.
This collection should immediately emerge as the most convenient and most fruitful starting point for any scholar wishing an introduction to the topic of race relations in the mountain south. Robert Tracy McKenzie, University of Washington