By Beth Newberry
Appalachians living beyond the hills and who are trying to return to the region often search for a new hometown that combines the best of “back home” and the cities they are leaving behind. For many returning Appalachians, the search often includes finding a new city or town that has urban amenities, as well as close proximity to family (but not too close), the visual beauty of the Appalachia, and close-connectedness of the culture and job opportunities. An impossible combination? Maybe not as unimaginable as many ex-Apps or outsiders might think. Read more
By L.S. McKee
On many levels, Kingsport, Tennessee is home. I grew up here, my parents were born down the road in Bristol, and generations before lived in the hills of Southwest Virginia. On other levels—the willful, self-inscribed ones—it isn’t. I’ve always bragged on its beauty, its music, its people, and in the same breath swore it was a place where I would never live again. What it could give, I assumed, had already been given. Read more
Niki King and Beth Newberry are excited to soon launch The HillVille, a weekly online magazine for urban Appalachians.
And just who are urban Appalachians, anyway? Good question. We’re a diverse bunch. We are exapps, folks who grew up in the region, but moved away for school, work or whatever. Some of us are second- or third-generation exapps, born to Appalachians, but raised in cities outside the region. Others live in one of the many cities and towns actually in the mountains, like Knoxville, Tenn., and Charleston, W.Va. or cities on the edges—to the north (holla Pittsburgh), to the South (bring it Birmingham) and the mid-west (isn’t that right, Cincinnati?). Read more