NAACP, Black Appalachian Coalition Host Black Invisibility Event

Among those hit hardest by the losses are the Black Appalachians.
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Photos: YouTube\Expatalacians

Baltimore, MD - Today the NAACP is putting a spotlight on some of the poorest communities in the nation. These areas can be described as the Affrilachians, such as The Ohio Valley, Central Appalachia and Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Although the region has long provided raw materials to fuel American prosperity elsewhere, it has suffered economically and, in many places, people have experienced downward mobility. Absentee corporations and extractive industries have left the land scarred and the people in the region sick.

Among those hit hardest by the losses are the Black Appalachians.

Not only have Black residents of the region suffered tremendous economic and cultural losses for decades, but they are also ignored. The whitewashed narrative of Appalachia -that rural means white -makes invisible the rich cultural history of Black Appalachians and their many contributions to the region. Worse yet, invisibility means these Black communities in the region will continue to bear the greatest burdens of economic distress and environmental damage. Until their voices are heard--until they are seated at the decision-making tables--it will not be possible to overcome the long history of deliberate exclusion and disinvestment.

Today will be the launch of the Black Appalachian Coalition (BLAC) and the need for Black voices to be at the table to enable the region to build back better. NAACP and BLAC will co-host a dialogue on the Affrilachia: Black Invisibility to speak to the need for equitable and inclusive investments within these communities that bear the burdens of polluting systems. Speaking to this critical issue will be Dr. Jacqueline Patterson, Senior Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, Mr. Frank X. Walker, Bishop Marcia Dinkins, Executive Director of Black Women Rising, and a cameo appearance by Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali.

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