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Excavating MemorySites of Remembering and Forgetting$
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Maria Theresia Starzmann and John R. Roby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061603

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061603.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 23 September 2021

Power Line

Power Line

Memory and the March on Blair Mountain

(p.86) 4 Power Line
Excavating Memory

Richelle C. Brown

University Press of Florida

Despite its effacement from official history, the 1921 Battle of Blair Mountain entered history and folklore as the culmination of the West Virginia Mine Wars of the early twentieth century. Ninety years later, the site of that battle, a former national heritage site, is threatened with destruction by the coal extraction process known as mountaintop removal. In June 2011, several hundred people set out to retrace the route taken by miners from Kanawha to Mingo counties. This march invoked a history of resistance in the Appalachian region to promote a vision for the future that included community empowerment and a diversified economy. Drawing on oral histories of participants in the 2011 march and my own experiences as a marcher, Brown examines the ways in which the march used the past to challenge the power encoded in a landscape defined by intensive resource extraction.

Keywords:   Blair Mountain, West Virginia Mine Wars, Heritage, Coal Extraction, Mountaintop Removal, Appalachian Region

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