cover of book

African American Miners and Migrants: THE EASTERN KENTUCKY SOCIAL CLUB
by Thomas E. Wagner and Philip J. Obermiller
University of Illinois Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-252-07164-5 | Cloth: 978-0-252-02896-0 | eISBN: 978-0-252-09273-2
Library of Congress Classification E185.5.W34 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.896073076915

Thomas E. Wagner and Phillip J. Obermiller's African American Miners and Migrants documents the lives of Eastern Kentucky Social Club (EKSC) members, a group of black Appalachians who left the eastern Kentucky coalfields and their coal company hometowns in Harlan County.
Bound together by segregation, the inherent dangers of mining, and coal company paternalism, it might seem that black miners and mountaineers would be eager to forget their past. Instead, members of the EKSC have chosen to celebrate their Harlan County roots. African American Miners and Migrants uses historical and archival research and extensive personal interviews to explore their reasons and the ties that still bind them to eastern Kentucky. The book also examines life in the model coal towns of Benham and Lynch in the context of Progressive Era policies, the practice of welfare capitalism, and the contemporary national trend of building corporate towns and planned communities.

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