Friday, September 24, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

“No Black Folks, No WV” – The African-American Key To State History

Play

Friday, June 14, 2013   

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As West Virginia celebrates its 150th birthday, a series of events will highlight how African-American history is central to the state’s story.

The Rev. Ron English of Charleston says the state might not even exist if everyone had accepted slavery.

He says the frontier western counties had long drifted away from slave-holding eastern Virginia, and that many on this side of the mountains had little sympathy for the plantation owners who went on to run the Confederacy.

He explains that it's no accident that West Virginia was born in the crucible of the Civil War.

"The question that really led to statehood was slavery,” he explains. “And Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation happened at the same time that the state was founded."

English says there were a few plantations here, including one on the site of a school now named for prominent black educator Mary Snow.

English is coordinating a series of events next week highlighting black West Virginia history, starting with a Juneteenth celebration Sunday at the Culture Center in Charleston.

After the Civil War, blacks were violently suppressed in much of the country. But English says West Virginia became known for allowing African-Americans to go to college and was home to early black schools such as West Virginia State University and Storer College.

He says it was Storer that made the Eastern Panhandle the site of a second monumental event in Black history – the movement that led to the founding of the NAACP.

"It was in Harpers Ferry that John Brown's raid took place,” English says. “And it was also in Harpers Ferry that the Niagara Movement developed."

English says by the first part of the 20th century, employment in the mines was allowing black families stability and a better income than was available in many other places. And he adds that the coalfields were unusual for the way they accepted African-Americans.

The United Mine Workers Union was even integrated from when it was founded in 1890.

"All miners came out of the mines looking the same,” he points out. “The coal mining industry opening up in West Virginia became a place blacks were able to find a decent wage."







get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021