Inside Appalachia

West Virginia University, Douglas Arbogast

This time of year, it’s the perfect temperature for people to gather on their back deck, maybe over some drinks, to play music. So for this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, Jessica Lilly and Roxy Todd spent some time uncovering a few, shall we say, mysteries behind Appalachian music. We’ll also hear how young people are reviving this old time music.

On this week's episode of the podcast Us & Them, producer Trey Key looks at the evolution of textbooks in the U.S. and the controversies in both Kanawha County and Texas that have shaped the textbooks students read in school.

Inside Appalachia focuses on the out-migration of young people from West Virginia and Appalachia in general, a move that often leaves Appalachian natives homesick for their roots. 

Husband and wife due Shovels and Rope play "Evil," this week's Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Daniel Walker/WVPB

Have you ever heard of a pepperoni roll? If you haven’t, then you’re not from West Virginia.

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports from the Eastern Panhandle where a group of artists get together to critique each other’s work.  Also, singer-songwriter Jill Barber has our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.  That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Bruce Gilden, Vice

In a recent interview, photographer Bruce Gilden said, “…you have to be sneaky to get the picture…” He said other things about respecting his subjects, his need to get very close and that only by veering into abstraction could he get closer.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about.

On West Virginia Morning, Beth Vorhees talks with Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly about this week’s episode featuring a discussion about outsiders taking pictures in Appalachia.  And we visit the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins where it’s bluegrass music week.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story.


Producer/Host Jessica Lilly and producer Roxy Todd have pulled together a lot of voices on the subject of outsiders photographing Appalachians so we can get a better understanding of the question of who gets to tell our stories as Appalachians, why we are asking that question to begin with and hearing from folks who suggest it's not necessary to ask the question at all.


It can be pretty tough to be a young person in Appalachia. There’s a lot of love for our region in the younger generation, too. So some younger people are making their own opportunities. Hear from people in their teens and 20s who are creating art and music here and listen to their ideas and dreams for Appalachia.

On West Virginia Morning, two stories about reflections on the Confederate flag.  Reporter Jessica Lilly attended a high school in Mullens, Wyoming County.  The school’s mascot was a Rebel and the rebel flag was a school symbol.  And Roxy Todd talks with a family of three generations in Elkins who share their thoughts about the flag.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting, telling West Virginia’s story.


Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Shepherdstown is a little place with a lot of history. Harpers Ferry and the Antietam battlefield are literally down the road. The tiny downtown has Civil War era brick buildings filled with mom n’ pop restaurants and shops. But there’s a kind of counterculture side to the town, too.

Locals can be seen playing live music on the street with a cup of coffee or tea in hand - maybe even wearing tie-dye. And there’s a big demand for local, organic foods including a local favorite - a restaurant called Mellow Moods.

This week, Inside Appalachia is hearing from people across the region, sharing their views about the Confederate Battle Flag.

Christine Cover

Appalachia has certainly been stereotyped by many people in the media. But not all storytellers are the same, and the stories that are told about Appalachia are often complicated with layers of misunderstandings. 

It takes time, compassion and perhaps an inside perspective to delve deep and do justice to the people affected by the story. So much of this type of work- that which is reshaping how Appalachia is portrayed- is being rendered by women in the media.

Derek Cline

Despite stereotypes, Appalachians don’t have a homogenous way of speaking. This week, we’re excited to share lots of Appalachian voices as we explore the complex aspects of the way we talk.

A professor of linguistics and English at WVU is working to map West Virginia’s dialects and accents.  Kirk Hazen was in Wyoming County earlier this week, collecting interviews from natives.


On West Virginia Morning, reports about two laws taking effect today.  One of them de-regulates some aboveground storage tanks and another makes it easier for craft breweries to do business in the state.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


Atlanta Journal Constitution, John Harmon, October 1997

This week, we remember Jean Ritchie, who's been called the mother of Appalachian folk music.

Courtesy of Kenneth King and the WV Mine Wars Museum

Amid news of more mine lay-offs, one former coal town has built a labor museum to attract visitors. Driving down to the new West Virginia Mine Wars Museum , you really feel the fading towns and cities, sliding into the backdrop of the mountains. It's surreal. Many places in Appalachia are. It’s sad to many people who remember the thriving economy here when coal was booming. Wilma Lee Steele says she hopes the museum in Matewan will become a place where people throughout the coalfields can come to reclaim their identity. “I think that we have a lot to say, and I think we’re gonna say it. We’re gonna tell our history, and we’re gonna come together as a community.”

Suzanne Higgins

The Dish Café, located in Daniels, WV, is serving up fantastic cuisine that is really good for you.

Open now 2 years, the Raleigh County eatery is a farm to table restaurant, cooking up original recipes using local produce and proteins as much as possible.

Some of the regular menu items include the falafel salad, Hawaiian flatbread, the roasted porketta sandwich, the black bean burger, and their signature 10 oz rib eye.

Chef Devin Billeter is an owner and also the operations manager.

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