Black in Appalachia podcast to tell story of African Americans in region

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Black in Appalachia project is working to highlight the history of African Americans in the development of our region and its culture through a new podcast. 

Black in Appalachia gathers local residents, academia and public media to work collectively to document, preserve and make available the historic narratives of black communities in the region. 

William Isom II, director of Black in Appalachia, coordinates the research, community database development, and documentary film and photography production with residents in the region concentrating on black history in the Southern mountains. 

The project is now working to release a podcast Aug. 8, which is also known as Emancipation Day.  

“The ‘Black in Appalachia’ podcast is an initiative of the Black and Appalachia project. And the idea of this is to tell the stories of the black people in places throughout Appalachia,” said Enkeshi El-Amin, co-host and producer of the podcast.

The Black in Appalachia website and Facebook page hosts a vast library of content including a collection of Appalachian history digital projects.

“This is really important and there are enough stories to tell if people just take the time to kind of look around where they’re at in the communities that they’re in,” Isom said. “However small it is, however rural it is, and however urban it is, you’re going to find these black stories on every street corner and every block. 

“I would encourage everybody in the region, East Tennessee, (southern) West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, to just look around and talk to people. Talk to your neighbors, black, white or other. I think that you’re going to uncover more stories than anyone can ever tell.”


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