Rednecks Without Race: The Forgotten History of Cross-Racial Working-Class Solidarity at Blair Mountain, 1921

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2019

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The Battle of Blair Mountain, which occurred in West Virginia late in the summer of 1921, was one of the largest domestic armed conflicts in the United States since the end of the Civil War. It was a display of working-class solidarity that crossed racial lines, with black and white miners joining forces to combat the mining companies’ private militaries. These fighters – called “rednecks” because of the red bandanas they wore around their necks as uniforms – have largely been forgotten, and little writing exists about the event or its aftermath. This project sets out to determine why this struggle goes unremembered, and how it can inform our perception of Appalachia.

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