Living with Dolly Parton

Longreads feature, October 2018

Guest on Top of Mind with Julie Rose, “How Labor Unions Changed America”

Book featured in The Cut, “There is a Kind of Feminist Revolution Happening Right Now in Appalachia”

"Unraveling the Hidden Black History of Appalachian Activism," 100 Days in Appalachia, reprinted at Salon

Mary Rice Farris, a Black woman who lived her whole life in Madison County, Kentucky, where the knobby hills meet the bluegrass, worked much of her life to demand that Black Appalachia be seen and heard.
Among those who converged on the nation’s capital in the 1960s for the original campaign were Appalachian youth. Too often muted in the histories of the time, young Appalachians formed a vital presence in the Poor People’s Campaign. Importantly, they also brought the lessons of the Campaign home to their Appalachian communities through the organizing work they continued to do back in the mountains.
Appalachian feminism, which is to say feminism of working-class white and Black women who lived in a place long dominated by corporate officials, has volumes to teach us about meaningful efforts to reach gender equality, but more importantly, justice.

"Women's Movements Against Gender-Based Violence," for Picks and Finds, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Ending violence against all women was the goal, but the movement’s method in the early years was to begin with the needs of women with the fewest resources. Indeed, working class and poor women, along with their allies, stood on the front lines of the movement.
The media owes the region and its readers respectful and rigorous coverage that cuts through simplistic formulations of Appalachia. Ignoring or erasing stories of community organizing and coalition-building makes it easier to paint Appalachia’s residents as perpetual victims of economic decline or hypocrites who receive government aid without reciprocity.

"Reasons We Marched," Oxford Eagle (with Amy McDowell)

When we asked women and men living across the country why they marched, this is what they said...
Too often we discuss abortion policy only within the confines of an ideological debate. Those debates are important, but when we focus only on ideology we lose sight of historical lessons: reproductive choice is a critical part of the gender equality women have won in the past century.
Helen Lewis has long been a towering figure in Appalachian Studies, designing the first academic programs and developing an interpretation of Appalachia as an “internal colony” of the United States, a model that influenced a generation of Appalachian scholars and activists.