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Posts from the ‘Home’ Category

Hollow: Documenting West Virginia

The HillVille unabashedly loves stories, community building and especially innovative ways to use stories to build community. So when we saw Hollow, an interactive documentary about McDowell County, W.Va., on Kickstarter, we were intrigued. We caught up with project founder and ex-App Elaine McMillion earlier this week to get the scoop.

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Oscar Parsons: City Boy with a Country Sound

By Niki King

In honor of our Roots ‘n Boots music issue, ex-App Oscar Parsons shares his story of how he got to be a fiddler in a bluegrass band in a flat, almost mid-western city miles away from his mountain south home.       Read more

Chatting with Scholar, Author Emily Satterwhite

By Niki King

We here at The HillVille can’t get enough of Emily Satterwhite’s thought-provoking book Dear Appalachia: Readers, Identity, and Popular Fiction since 1878, in which she examines how readers receive best-selling Appalachian fiction. We recently caught up with Satterwhite for a quick, follow-up conversation about the new release.  Read our review of the book here.

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Making Mountain Music: Sam Shinault is Back Home Proud

Welcome to another installment of our “Back Home Proud” series, a re-occurring feature in which Apps and Ex-Apps tell us, in their own words, what their Appalachian identity means to them. Today we hear from Sam Shinault, a photographer, guitarist and mandolin player for the Two Dollar Bill Band, an old-time, bluegrass and newgrass band in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.     Read more

Dear Appalachia: New Book Explores Readers’ Reception of Appalachian Literature

By Niki King

Where do Appalachian stereotypes come from? It’s a question that gives rise to seemingly easy, immediate answers—movies, television shows and news media. Read more

Appalachian Poets Confront “StereoType”

This week we explore not only mass media portrayal of Appalachians, but the ways Apps respond to stereotyping. Contributor Abby Malik reports on how six writers dismantle stereotypes and misconceptions through their creative work and public art. 

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John Haywood is Back Home Proud

This is the first installment of our “Back Home Proud” series, a re-occurring feature in which Apps and Ex-Apps tell us, in their own words, what their Appalachian identity means to them. In keeping with our “Rural Retreat” issue, we hear from John Haywood, a painter and musician, who moved from Eastern Kentucky to Louisville and back again. He now operates his own tattoo parlor on Main Street in Whitesburg, Ky.

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Micropolitan Manifesto: A Journey from the Big Apple to Back Home

In 2008, Katie McCaskey made the decision to move from NYC, back home to Staunton, Va., where she could afford to own a house and open a business. Even though Staunton is small, she still enjoys downtown amenities, the town’s historic character and walkability, the same things she loved about urban living.  Becoming an entrepreneur hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but the experience has made her a passionate advocate for small towns, ‘micropolitans’ as she calls them, and their potential. She’s written an inspiring manifesto encouraging others to invest in them as she has. She recently shared her discoveries with The HillVille.  

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Rural Reads

By Beth Newberry

We’ve collected a short list of a few blogs we read to keep us in touch with our rural roots. These blogs are kin to The HillVille in the shared purpose of uplifting folklore, current events, culture, news, politics, connecting rural and urban areas and exploring that unshakable yearning for back home.

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Remembering Chicago’s “Hillbilly Problem”

By Niki King

This week chicagomag.com’s Whet Moser contemplated race relations and Southern migration to the Windy City in the years up to and following World War II, a time when millions of Appalachians were moving to Chicago and other Midwestern cities to find work.

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