Us & Them

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a preview of this week's Inside Appalachia episode, in which we learn more about a four-part series by Us and Them about gun violence, race and urban revitalization in West Virginia.

Inside Appalachia’s Jessica Lilly sat down with Trey Kay, the host of Us and Them, to talk about Charleston’s West Side -- the poorest neighborhood in the city.

American Friends Service Committee South Region

High-profile confrontations between African-Americans and police officers have fueled tensions across the country. West Virginia is NOT a place where people are comfortable talking about these things.

But in Trey's hometown of Charleston, some of the key players are now bringing this tension out into the open.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Trey Kay, host of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Us & Them podcast, has been working on a series of reports focusing on Charleston’s West Side. His most recent installment explores a new program that awards grants to Charleston Police officers willing to purchase and rehab dilapidated West Side homes, and live there. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an excerpt from the podcast episode titled “A Policeman is a Person in Your Neighborhood.”


Trey Kay

Two rivers run through Charleston, West Virginia. While most of the city is situated on the Kanawha, it’s the Elk River that demarcates the West Side from the governmental and business center of Charleston. Today, the West Side is the poorest neighborhood in Charleston.

At a time when the President of the United States questions the patriotism of African American football players protesting social injustice, we present the civil rights struggle of another African American who, nearly 50 years ago, broke a color barrier in the NFL — James "Shack" Harris, the first black player in NFL history to earn a job as starting quarterback.

Kenneth King Collection, West Virginia State Archives

The "Us & Them" podcast is about seeing the same story two ways… and nothing calls out for that treatment more than coal in West Virginia.

It was only a pair of shoes -- Nike Cortez shoes, to be exact.

On the other hand, these shoes had the power to divide West Virginia teenagers into two camps: Hillers who could easily afford them, and Creekers who could not.

This week, we discuss an episode of Trey Kay's podcast "Us & Them" called "Hillers and Creekers." It's about shoes, pickup trucks, and the things that divide us, beginning in school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s back to school time, which also means a return to the cliques and social pecking order of high school.

Producer Trey Kay remembers how that dynamic played out among “hillers” and “creekers” at George Washington High School, in Charleston. He speaks with West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Scott Finn about his latest episode of our podcast, “Us & Them.”

Joni Deutsch

In most schools, you're likely to find yourself labeled as a jock, theater geek, stoner or even a loner.

But at my alma mater in West Virginia, we had a unique "Us & Them" sorting classification: you were either a “hiller” or a “creeker.”

Scott Threlkeld/AP

The tragedy in Charlottesville, VA makes us wonder if it’s possible to reconcile different versions of history. This episode features two American foreign correspondents of color who’ve sought to answer this quandary, flying from Kenya to Louisiana to report on protests over the dismantling of Confederate monuments.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the shocking events in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend are yet another reminder of deep division in America. More specifically, it seems like battles that ripped our nation apart 150 years ago, continue to smolder.

When conservatives and liberals fight about school curriculum, the disagreements aren’t just about science and history. Even math has been a battleground in the culture wars. 

Sunday dinner is a big deal in Deanna McKinney’s family. Deanna’s a de facto mom to her three sisters and two brothers -- when she moved to West Virginia from New York City, they came too.  These Sunday dinners are to remind the siblings that someone’s always got their back.

Deanna’s told the story of her son’s murder so many times, that she can recount it to me -- a relative stranger with a microphone -- while she picks out cornbread mix at the grocery store. His name was Tymel and his senseless death is an experience that has defined her life and informed who she is.

Us & Them: Amazing Grace

Jul 13, 2017

Everyone knows the song "Amazing Grace." People who don’t even consider themselves spiritual or religious find it meaningful. And while John Newton penned the hymn to connect with Christians, it has transcended that and become a folk song and an anthem for civil rights. But the origins of the song are just a bit more complicated...

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, farmers are looking to the craft brewing craze to boost a new crop in the region: locally grown hops. We hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource's Nicole Erwin. 

Also, June is Gay Pride Month. Us & Them podcast producer Trey Kay speaks with Charleston resident Bill Richards about living at a time when sodomy was a criminal offense in an excerpt from an episode titled “Sodomy, Stonewall & Pride”.

Us & Them

Not that long ago, you could get locked up for being gay. 

Us & Them

We’re at the end of graduation season. Over the past few weeks, young grads donned in hard-earned caps and gowns, have gathered on college greens to pose for an endless number of photos with proud family members, fellow co-eds … and professors.

Us & Them, Gentrification
Us & Them

I’m standing at 3rd Avenue and 8th Street in Brooklyn, NY. Some would call this neighborhood Park Slope, but it’s really a hike from the beautiful Prospect Park, and it’s where things don’t really “slope” anymore. The neighborhood is actually called Gowanus and it’s very close to the infamous Gowanus Canal, which is recognized as one of the most polluted bodies of water in America. I lived here for a long time in the '80s and '90s.

Empathy. It’s a word we’ve heard a lot in the past year. Whether woven in the closing arguments before a jury, or from elected leaders’ appealing to the better angels within us, somebody, somewhere, is calling for empathy. Even President Barack Obama, in his first public appearance since the inauguration of Donald Trump, shared his experience of practicing empathy while running for the US Senate.

The Story of "Amazing Grace"

Apr 13, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Us & Them host Trey Kay looks at the story behind the popular hymn “Amazing Grace” and how it came to be such an important part of American culture.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

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