Inside Appalachia

By West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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Description

Inside Appalachia tells the stories of our people, and how they live today. Host Jessica Lilly leads us on an audio tour of our rich history, our food, our music and our culture. Watch Inside Appalachia videos Follow the Inside Appalachia podcast on Soundcloud here . Subscribe to the Inside Appalachia podcast here or click the red button below. Inside Appalachia is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with help from public radio stations in Kentucky, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and West Virginia. _ _

Episode Date
Black Lung Disease Back and Worse Than Before, Inside Appalachia
3230
Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition. They convinced Congress to pass new laws that were supposed to make black lung a thing of the past. Today, conditions underground have changed, and the disease has come roaring back. For this episode of Inside Appalachia, we are taking another listen to this show which aired in the spring. Black lung, also known as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is caused by long-term exposure to coal dust in the process of mining. Inhaled coal dust builds up in the lungs, causing inflammation, and eventually tissue death. Many sufferers describe a feeling of drowning because their lungs are unable to work properly and they can’t take a breath. A 2013 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity into the misconceptions surrounding the disease and the regulatory maze associated with applying and being approved for black lung benefits revealed a
Aug 23, 2019
What Happens When People Meet the Gas Industry, Inside Appalachia
3350
The economy of central Appalachia has long revolved around extractive industries: timber, coal, oil and natural gas. The jobs associated with these industries are often good paying jobs. They also can bring environmental and health issues to the region. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore how an increase in natural gas development has brought challenges and concerns, both for our health and our natural environment. But for some, the jobs and economic benefits that come with this increased activity are welcome, especially as so many jobs have left our region in recent years.
Aug 16, 2019
What Happens When a School Closes Inside Appalachia
3270
School is, or soon will be, back in session, so we wanted to take another listen to an episode we originally aired in May, about the devastating effects a school closure can have on a community. Basketball was a big deal for the small town of Northfork, in McDowell County, West Virginia. The high school team won the state championship eight years in a row. “Little old ladies who wouldn’t know a football from a basketball became big fans because it brought positive notoriety and attention to the community,” Northfork alumni Gary Dove recalled. Yet, despite its success on the basketball court, Northfork was one of thousands of schools that have closed across the country in recent decades. Declining population in rural Appalachia has made this especially common as school boards attempt to consolidate resources. But when a school is closed, it’s more than a building that disappears. In this episode, we’ll explore how school closures affect community pride, and participation in
Aug 09, 2019
Boom and Bust, Recession and Renewal; When Factories and Mines Close, Lives Change
3193
Our region has faced major economic changes and challenges in the past decade. But if you know our region’s history, this story of boom and bust, renewal and recession, is an all too familiar story. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore how these economic changes affect people, our friends, our neighbors, and how entire communities can be uprooted by the closing of a local factory, or coal-mine layoffs.
Aug 02, 2019
Paddleboats, Whitewater Rafting and Scuba Diving — in the Mountains? Yep — Inside Appalachia
3151
For many people in Appalachia, the lakes, rivers and creeks are the first places we swam, played in the water or caught crawdads. For many adults, our waterways are some of the best places to get outdoors and cool off in the summer. We have whitewater rafting, swimming, boating and even scuba diving to choose from (yes, scuba diving, you read that right.)
Jul 26, 2019
Alternative Enterprises and Destinations: Inside Appalachia
3233
On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking another listen to a show we aired in March. It’s an off-the-beaten-path tour of some of the region’s alternative cultures and economies. We’ll visit a factory where workers are reviving the art of glassmaking. We’ll hear how farmers and chefs are returning to some of our old-fashioned recipes for inspiration and attempting to reshape our region’s economy in the process. And we’ll go back to the 1970s to hear what it was like to be part of the LGBT community in Roanoke, Virginia. We’ll also meet entrepreneurs experimenting with an old Appalachian crop: hemp. We’ll hear the hidden backstory behind Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s iconic theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and take a chili bun and slaw dog tour across Southern Appalachia. We’ll also hear from a father and son-in-law who are preserving the time-intensive craft of traditional furniture building through a family business in rural West Virginia. Think back to the last time you
Jul 19, 2019
'He Died In Terror' - Thousands of U.S. Workers Die Each Year, Leaving Families With Questions
3408
What is the human impact of a failure to prioritize workplace safety? In this episode, we’ll explore how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize worker safety, may be contributing to more deaths, and a higher risk of workplace accidents -- both at the state and national levels.
Jul 12, 2019
How Mountains Influence Our Lives: Inside Appalachia
3281
“Montani Semper Liberi ⁠— Mountaineers Are Always Free” is West Virginia’s state motto, but it is more than that. It is a belief system that is not just true about the Mountain State. It rings true throughout Appalachia and even mountains on other continents. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll take a look at how the natural environment has influenced our lives.
Jul 05, 2019
A Response to 'Hillbilly Elegy' by Appalachian Writers: Inside Appalachia
3259
“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”, a personal memoir by JD Vance, was on the New York Times Bestseller list for 24 weeks. After the 2016 presidential election, some people read the book hoping to gain insights into the region. It sold more than a million copies, and a Ron Howard film is now in the works. West Virginia University Press recently published a new book called “Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.” The book includes essays, poetry and photos from 40 activists, artists and poets.
Jun 28, 2019
Politics, Apple Butter, and Talking to Each Other Across the Aisle
3233
This week on Inside Appalachia, we’re taking another listen to an episode we aired last winter. With the political season heating up, we probably all need another reminder. We’re wading into the American political divide and bringing you voices with distinct points of view from opposite sides of the country. It’s no secret that these days, we live in the divided states of America. Sometimes, it can feel like the only thing that unites us anymore is that now-nearly universal experience of sitting awkwardly around the Thanksgiving table with family members who have different political beliefs, trying to find a way to avoid politics altogether.
Jun 21, 2019
Farmers Across Appalachia Get New Customers Through Craft Beer Craze
3342
People in Appalachia have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some people even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine. But this history is sometimes coupled with negative stereotypes. Outsiders have long portrayed Appalachians as dangerous, lawless moonshiners.
Jun 14, 2019
Without Enough Support, Working Moms Struggle to Make Breastfeeding Work
3481
Doctors point to overwhelming evidence that breast milk is superior to formula. But breastfeeding rates in the United States continue to be low. Reasons for that may be lack of paid maternity leave in the U.S., challenges breastfeeding at work, the role of WIC in subsidizing formula and the fact that for many women, breastfeeding, although natural, is a learned skill and there aren't enough people teaching techniques. In this episode more than a dozen women will share their stories about motherhood, breastfeeding, and society’s demands.
Jun 07, 2019
Stories of Love, Friendship and Loss from StoryCorps: Inside Appalachia
3237
StoryCorps producers brought their mobile recording studio to Charleston, West Virginia, in fall 2018, and recorded more than 100 stories. These recording are between friends, co-workers and family members. StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. These recordings will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress in the largest collection of oral histories in the world. We edited and selected a few of those conversations for this episode of Inside Appalachia.
May 31, 2019
Inside Appalachia Expands to Tell More Stories of Folklife, and the 'Art of Everyday Life'
3284
In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we explore how our cultural traditions change over time and evolve as they get passed from person to person. How does foklife fit into our already busy, and frankly, quite stressful lives? “Henry Glassie, another folklorist, says that folklore is the creation of the future out of the past. So in order to know where we're headed, we have to know about these traditions in the past,” explained West Virginia state folklorist Emily Hilliard.
May 24, 2019
‘It’s Just Really Hard’- Families and Caregivers Struggle to Find Resources Inside Appalachia
3178
Across most of central Appalachia, the population is declining as young people leave to find work. Those who stay, are rapidly aging. In West Virginia, for instance, about 16 percent of the population is 65 or older, according to a Department of Health and Human Resources report. Seniors are expected to be about a quarter of the total population by 2030.
May 18, 2019
‘It Was a Terrible Loss’: School Closures and Their Effect on Communities Inside Appalachia
3418
This week on Inside Appalachia, basketball was a big deal for the small town of Northfork, in McDowell County, West Virginia. The high school team won the state championship eight years in a row.
May 10, 2019
Beneath the Surface — Drinking Water Inside Appalachia
3197
For many families in parts of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, the absence of clean, reliable drinking water is part of daily life. Blaine Taylor, a 17-year-old resident of Martin County, Kentucky, struggles to manage basic hygiene when his water comes out with sediment in it. “I had to use a case of water last night just to get enough water in my bathtub just to get myself cleaned up for today at school,” he said. “It’s rough.”
May 03, 2019
Ground Zero for the Opioid Epidemic, How Law Enforcement is Finding New Ways to Tackle Addiction
3236
Like a slow-motion tsunami, the opioid epidemic continues to claim the lives of our friends and neighbors. Four of the top five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths are here, in Appalachia. The drug epidemic is changing, but it’s not going away. People are still fighting for their loved ones and communities. This episode of Inside Appalachia looks at traditional and innovative ways law enforcement is tackling the challenge. And we’ll hear from people who end up behind bars anyway, as they struggle with substance use disorder.
Apr 26, 2019
Clock is Ticking for Thousands of Coal Miners Who Suffer From Black Lung
3478
Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition. They convinced Congress to pass new laws that were supposed to make black lung a thing of the past. Today, conditions underground have changed, and the disease has come roaring back. Black lung, also known as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is caused by long-term exposure to coal dust in the process of mining. Inhaled coal dust builds up in the lungs, causing inflammation, and eventually tissue death. Many sufferers describe a feeling of drowning because their lungs are unable to work properly and they can’t take a breath. A 2013 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity into the misconceptions surrounding the disease and the regulatory maze associated with applying and being approved for black lung benefits revealed a system in which coal miners are fighting an unfair battle for disability payments and medical care. CPI found
Apr 19, 2019
Play Ball! What Baseball Means Inside Appalachia
3197
Spring is here and that means baseball season. This week on Inside Appalachia we’re taking another look at baseball throughout the region. We’ll learn about the history of early baseball in the coal camp towns of southern West Virginia and go inside the legendary baseball bat factory — the Louisville Sluggers. And we’ll meet a man who went from living in an isolated timber town in Pocahontas County, West Virginia to being a professional umpire for the Cincinnati Reds.
Apr 12, 2019