Scholars of southern Appalachia have largely focused their research on men, particularly white men. While there have been a few important studies of Appalachian women, no one book has offered a broad overview across time and place. With this collection, editors Connie Park Rice and Marie Tedesco redress this imbalance, telling the stories of these women and calling attention to the varied backgrounds of those who call the mountains home.
The essays of Women of the Mountain South debunk the entrenched stereotype of Appalachian women as poor and white, and shine a long-overdue spotlight on women too often neglected in the history of the region. Each author focuses on a particular individual or group, but together they illustrate the diversity of women who live in the region and the depth of their life experiences. The Mountain South has been home to Native American, African American, Latina, and white women, both rich and poor. Civil rights and gay rights advocates, environmental and labor activists, prostitutes, and coal miners—all have lived in the place called the Mountain South and enriched its history and culture.