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Pine Mountain fracas shows rural Kentuckians must fight for each other, not against

Opinion piece by Beth Howard, Lexington Herald Leader



I am a proud working class Appalachian woman raised on a small tobacco farm in rural Eastern Kentucky. I come from a community where we had each other’s backs. If someone was sick, or if there was a death in the family, we made each other casseroles, or offered to watch each other’s kids to lighten the load. We took turns working in each other’s tobacco fields or vegetable gardens. We never knew a stranger and no one went hungry if we could help it. It’s these kinds of values that informs my work as the Director of Appalachian People’s Union at Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) — to bring our Appalachian communities together to fight for a better future where everyone, no matter our skin tone, our zip code, or if we have any money in our pocket — can live a decent life.


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