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Structural racism and archaeological practice - the archaeology of razed African American industrial communities.

Author(s): Robert DeMuth

Year: 2017

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Summary

The coal company towns found throughout West Virginia and Central Appalachia were compact, racially diverse communities housing African Americans, white americans, and various european immigrant groups.  However, when the industry contracted after World War II, racial firing practices meant that many African American families were forced to leave the area. These newly vacant lots were often repurposed for further industrial use, effectively destroying the material record of many of the African Americans that once called the region home during its industrial boom. A severe lack of both material remains and modern descendants has effectively led to a ‘whitewashing’ West Virginia’s labor history, that does not consider the important roles carried out by people of color.  This paper examines how these forces of structural racism affect our ability to study minority groups archaeologically, and suggests solutions to begin overcoming these problems.


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Cite this Record

Structural racism and archaeological practice - the archaeology of razed African American industrial communities.. Robert DeMuth. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435523)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
20th Century


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 663

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America