The hit TV show came to Appalachia in April. Letcher County KY was featured in a special edition of the hit show which raised money to fight poverty in America and Africa. Narrated by singer and contest judge Paula Abdul, the segment reported that high illiteracy rates contribute to the region’s on-going poverty. The program highlighted the work of the charity Save the Children which provides after school programs to teach kids to read. The story used some of the stereotypical images of the Appalachian region. Was it a fair portrayal? That depends on who you ask.
Archive for April 2007
How can a region so rich in natural resources become a symbol of poverty? WVU history professor Ken Fones-Wolfe seeks answers with his new book, “Glass Towns: Industry, Labor and Political Economy in Appalachia, 1890’s to 1930’s.” He concludes that the battle for the state’s economic diversification was fought between the glass and coal industries, and coal won. Beth Vorhees reports.