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Beginning Again: Stories of Movement and Migration in Appalachia (Voice of Witness)

Beginning Again: Stories of Movement and Migration in Appalachia (Voice of Witness)

Current price: $57.75
Publication Date: June 11th, 2024
Haymarket Books
Available for Preorder


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.

About the Author

Katrina M. Powell is Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and founding director of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on displacement narratives. She is cofounder of the digital-born oral history initiative,, founding editor of the journal Roots and Resettlement, and codirector of Monuments Across Appalachian Virginia. Poet Nikki Giovanni was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1987, she has been on the faculty of Virginia Tech, where she is a University Distinguished Professor.