“Appalachian Hillsides as Black Ecologies: Community Organizing and the Sanctified Hill Disaster of 1972” (Canceled)

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
4:30 PM (ET)
Event Type
Amy Bello
African American Studies

Jillian McCommons, University of Kentucky presents:

In the winter of 1972, homes on Sanctified Hill, a Black community in Cumberland, Kentucky, were destroyed by mudslides following weeks of heavy rains. In response to insufficient relief from local, state, and national agencies, Cumberland residents organized the Sanctified Hill Disaster Committee with help from the Black Appalachian Commission (BAC), a Black-led grassroots organization created in 1969 to build Black Power by uniting Black people across a thirteen-state region This presentation discusses the BAC’s role in supporting everyday working-class Black Appalachians. In the face of environmental disaster, Black Appalachians actively demanded economic, housing, and racial justice. While federal agencies outwardly spoke about their efforts to help Sanctified Hill residents to the press, the BAC and the Sanctified Hill Disaster Committee pushed them to do so in deed. The history of the disaster reveals BAC strategies for community organizing in the face of environmental disasters affecting Black Appalachians in the 1970s. It also offers frameworks for organizing in present-day Black communities. 

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Meeting ID: 983 0541 5307

Passcode: 659489 

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