Beginning Again: Stories of Movement and Migration in Appalachia (Voice of Witness)
First-person narratives of refugees, immigrants, and generations-long residents in Appalachia, highlighting how spaces of belonging, home, and connection are created in the face of displacement, extraction, and structural oppression.
Beginning Again collects the stories of twelve individuals who themselves (or their families before them) migrated and relocated to and within Appalachia. Whether people have lived in the region for a short time or for generations, journeys of resettlement in Appalachia are complex. While displacement and resettlement are not new in the region, popular misunderstandings often perpetuate stereotypes of refugees and immigrants as a drain on resources--and rural Appalachians as monolithically poor, white, and backwards. Within the dominant media, there is an expected Appalachian narrative and an expected refugee or immigrant narrative. Beginning Again adds to the growing body of works that counter damaging myths of Appalachia, illustrating that the region and its people have always been impacted by movement and migration.
With a focus on shared resettlement experiences, Beginning Again presents a nuanced portrait of life in contemporary Appalachia and asks how might we ensure equity, both for people who have lived in Appalachia for generations and for those newly arrived.