Vanessa Peña

In W.Va., Hip Hop Has Gone From Marginalized To Mainstream

Last year, communities celebrated the 50th anniversary of hip hop. Over the past half century, hip hop has gone from a marginalized art form to a mainstream powerhouse. It developed in major metropolitan centers like New York, Los Angeles and the South, but took root in Appalachia, too. Folkways Reporter Vanessa Peña reports on hip hop in West Virginia.

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Hip Hop In W.Va. And Food Deserts In Knoxville, Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, hip hop started in New York and took root in places like West Virginia. We explore some of the history of the music and where it is today. Also, food deserts are places where it’s hard to find nutritious food, but they’re found in more than just rural counties in Appalachia. Food deserts are also in disenfranchised neighborhoods, like in East Knoxville. 

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Step Dancing At WVSU And Radioactive Brine, Inside Appalachia

This week on Inside Appalachia, step shows are a tradition at many historically Black universities, including schools in Appalachia. We hear about one that’s part of West Virginia State University’s annual homecoming celebration. And, abandoned industrial sites have long been a magnet for people to explore and turn into not-at-all-legal hangout spots, but some come with hidden dangers. We learn about the danger at Fairmont Brine, a site in West Virginia that processed liquid used in hydraulic fracking.

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W.Va. Folklife Apprenticeship Pair Passing On Family Soul Food Traditions

From creamy macaroni and cheese to fried chicken feet, soul food has brought happiness to families and individuals throughout the world. Soul food is typically associated with states in the deep South, but the cooking style is traditional in the Appalachian region, too.

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