How can we use the past to impact the future?

Bodenhamer, Aysha. “King Coal: A Study Of Mountaintop Removal, Public Discourse, And Power In Appalachia.” Society & Natural Resources 29.10 (2016): 1139-1153. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.


Coal elites argue that the coal industry promotes longevity, employment, energy security, while exhibiting aggression towards the grass roots environmentalists. The grass roots environmentalists argue that coal destroys the land, health, and community. Both sides use culture to back up their claims. The coal industry instills pride in its employees. They say that Obama cannot create jobs if the EPA is destroying them. Coal elites say that global warming is a hoax. 51% of the nation’s energy comes from West Virginia. Many residents in the area want to continue to live there, forcing them to support the industry. Poverty and lack of employment contribute to these feelings. Mountain Top Removal sites are replacing and destroying jobs with the use of machines. Mountain Top Removal not only destroys the environment, but also destroys the community in the area. The grass roots environmentalists unite the residents of Appalachia to stand up to the mountain top removal coal elites.


Kratzer. “Coal Mining and Population Loss in Appalachia.” Journal of Appalachian Studies 21.2 (2015): 173. Web. Oct. 2015.


The study looks at the correlation between the coal industry and economic growth in Appalachia, between 2000-2010. Appalachia is known for its abundant natural resources. Timber was the first major industry in the area and destroyed thousands of years of top soil. Other parts of the country and the world flourished at the expensive of Appalachia. The resource curse is slow economic growth due to the abundance of natural resources. Appalachia’s poverty rate has declined, along with the coal industry, and the dominance of extractive industries. “Economy should be shaped around an understanding of people as being integrally connected to their land and community. Berry is consistently critical of an economic paradigm that reduces individuals to their productive abilities (labor) and consumer desires (consumption)” (Kratzer, 177). Exporting resources is also exporting jobs. There was a correlation between coal production and economic stagnation, decreased unemployment and poverty and increased per capita income.


Pasqualetti, Martin J. “Wind Power. (Cover Story).” Environment 46.7 (2004): 22-38. Academic Search Complete. Web. 25 Sept. 2016.


Modern day wind mills made their debut in California in 1981. Business owners consider meteorology, physics, aerodynamics, capacity, land ownership, and many other disciplines, lots of jobs and planning go into the placement of windmills. Some sections of Appalachia range from good to superb location for windmills. It is much higher in other areas of the country such as California and Texas. Farmers that have windmills constructed on their property could receive thousands of dollars per year, differing from state to state. The program, Wind Powering America, aims to increase rural economic development. The biggest complaint of windmills is that they destroy the aesthetic appeal of the landscape. Many birds run in the windmills and die. Offshore wind farms is one solution to visibly seeing the windmills. There was backlash that there was not enough notification before a turbines were going to be installed. Wind energy is the fastest group renewable energy resource in the world. The areas that have wind energy development say that instills a new sense of community.


“AIRE – The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy.” N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2016.


The Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy (AIRE) is a non-profit that is working to move Appalachia away from coal industry and towards more renewable and sustainable energy. The motto of the AIRE is “Pioneering approaches for community investment in renewable energy.” The AIRE’ executive director is Steve Owen. Owen is working towards creating bridges between the grassroots effort and the end of mountain top removal by directing the focus towards sustainable and renewable energy. The company funds their operations by using tax cuts and government programs. They work in critical policy research, and educating individuals to the possibility of initiating renewable energy in their company or institution. They also help in the development of sustainable energy projects in Appalachian communities. Their pilot project’s focus was to minimize importing energy and trying to keep the money within the North Carolina community. The company’s main focus is to exhibit that solar energy can be affordable through tax-equity finance.


Stolberg, S. G. (2016, August 18). Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future. Retrieved November 21, 2016, from


The New York Times did a story on the people of Kentucky trying to find new jobs as the coal industry has hit an all-time low. Stolberg mentions the motivation some of had to learn a new school to find a new career, such as computer programing. The men talk about their struggle about overcoming little education and having to learn a new skill such as programming. Many are turning to farming as a fall back career, which is not a lucrative career. Hemp farming is another industry taking off in Kentucky that has been authorized to be used in an industrial sense. Reforms that have come from Washington DC have yet to be proven effective, so SOAR, Shaping Our Appalachian Region, is a local group trying to innovate the region. Another point brought up is the youth wanting to stay and improve the region instead of moving away. Prisons are another industry popular in the region, that has as much controversy as mining. Moonshine is the last industry briefly mentioned in the article.  The enthusiasm of individuals to move away from mining I think is what the country needs. More long term industries are also essential for Appalachia to thrive. Farming may not be the best long term solution because with the legalization of weed in many states.


SOAR. (2016). Retrieved November 21, 2016, from


SOAR is a program that connects individuals in Appalachia with programs that are native to Appalachia. A lot of people believe SOAR will be more effective than programs coming from Washington DC because it is people from the area who are native to the problems individuals are facing in the area. SOAR puts people in contact with programs in regional food systems, small business in the digital economy, industrial development, 21st century skills, tourism, healthier communities, broadband expansion, and energy and natural resources. SOAR serves 54 counties in eastern Kentucky. SOAR allows individuals gives the individuals with motivation to start a career or business all the resources the help them get started. If the companies begin in Appalachia it keeps the money within in the community instead of a large company coming in a moving the money out of the area. SOAR also allows individuals to build a successful career even without a prior education.


Inside Appalachia’s ‘American Dream’ [Advertisement]. (2016, September 2). West Virginia.


The first part of the podcast is an interview with JD Vance the author of Hillbilly Elegy. He mentions that sometimes individuals from the area separate the poverty among the races, but he has always found that they struggle the same no matter what their race. I wondered if this separation in poverty may be stemmed from the coal being segregated. The podcast also discussed how so many people have been thrown into poverty with the decline of coal. Future President has often said “Lets Make America Great Again” and many individuals have argued that America is already great. Those who have suffered from President Obama’s major decline in coal resonate with the words of Donald Trump. As the EPA is trying to reduce carbon emissions coal companies are fighting the bill. Companies, however, say no matter the outcome of the bill they are choosing other forms of energy because of the demand for cleaner energy as well as natural gas is cheaper.


Delebert Liller [E-mail interview]. (2016, November 16).


My grandfather grew up in poverty in Appalachia and raised my dad and his siblings in the sad poverty that engulfs Appalachia. He got a degree in Engineering and worked for a variety of coals companies. He had worked for so many because they kept going out of business. He eventually started testing methods of cleaning coal in the basement of the home he built himself. My grandfather developed nine patens that reduced the dust and harmful by products associated with coal. He sold the idea to a coal company that later fired him and continued to use his idea. As coal continues to decline we tried to discuss other industries that could be used to promote economic growth in Appalachia. We discussed underground fires that are burning, a plethora of energy going to waste and not being harnessed. Windmills are becoming popular in Garrett County Maryland, a sustainable and renewable energy source. I believe there is a lot to learn in my grandfather’s experience that could be useful as new industries take off in Appalachia.

About ARC. (2016). Retrieved December 11, 2016, from


The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) works to try to stimulate the economy in the region. The poverty rate in Appalachia has decline in the last fifty years, from 31% in 1960 to 17% around 2010. The ARC receives government funding and then passes it on distressed and local governments. The ARC receives money for the government that can be allotted to help save or create jobs. As the money is repaid it can go to help create or retain more jobs in the region. There is also money allotted to help stimulate 13 rural regions by looking at what the region has to offer and then stimulating the connections and community. Some of these projects want to stimulate the cultural heritage local to the region as they revitalize their towns. I think it is important to stick to the roots and cultural heritage and new industries are taking off. The strong roots will help to preserve the mountains and resources within the area.


Link to Prezi:


Self Evaluations


I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I learned so much about the region in such a small amount of time, and it made we want to continue to learn about the course. I am fascinated by the coal industry; I think because the area has so much potential to move forward as coal continues to decline. I liked the readings because they were straight to the point so I did not lose focus, but I still learned a lot.

The course starts out talking about stereotypes of the region, which proved to be true for some of the region. We acknowledged that because they may be true for individuals of the region, does not mean that they are true for all individuals. This statements is where the discussion of stereotypes stops in most classes, however in Introduction to Appalachian Studies we looked at how these stereotypes arose. Starting all the way back at the first settler’s relationship with the Native Americans. I think starting with the Native Americans is a key part to understanding Appalachia’s history, but I had never learned about it in this way. As we applied stereotyping to where we are from, it made me evaluate how I approached stereotypes. Now when I come across stereotypes, good or bad, I think about what has happened to construct the stereotype.

My family fits almost every stereotype of Appalachia one way or another. I am from northern Virginia so I have always known my dad’s side of the family to be considered a little “backwards”. I think this course instilled the same sense of pride that the individuals that live in the region have. I love that my family’s ideal of with hard work you can do anything has carried over me to me. I think there are a lot of challenges that many faced growing up in the region, but I think it ended up teaching me that if you want something bad enough you can get it. No matter what challenges arise if you work hard enough you can achieve it.

I am a biology major and last year I took a course on toxicology and we talked about different environmental disasters that have occurred. This background knowledge combined with learning about how the coal companies are destroying the environments around the have led me to apply to some environmental internships for the summer. The cancer clusters arising from the pollution of the water, is something that should not be occurring in the United States in the twenty- first century. It is sad that powerful companies think that they can get away with this because that is what has occurred for centuries in Appalachia.

I thought the end of the year presentations were really interesting because everyone got to pick a topic they were passionate about and apply it to the region. I think it made the presentations more interesting and exciting because the presenters appreciated what they had researched and put time into. I do not think I would have learned as much if the topics were assigned. My topic was not even directly related to my major, but I got to use my family background to extend my presentation.


Patricia Liller, Junior, Biology Major, Fall 2016, Alexandria, Virginia, HUM 1704.



Experiential Learning

The first event I attended was over fall break, the Autumn Glory parade in Garrett County, Maryland. My family is from Oakland and my aunt and her son’s law firm sits right on main street so we watch the parade from their deck. My family is considered to be on the wealthier end of the spectrum. I think what sets us apart is the way we dress, everyone wears Hollister, t-shirts, and zip up sweat shirts. No one was dressed nice or appeared to their outfit into consideration. It is kind of sad to see all the people who do not eat well and were heavily overweight. The poverty is what sticks out to me, but at the same time it seems these people aren’t helping themselves. That may be me judging too soon, but when individuals are so overweight it is hard to not immediately think that they are lazy. The area where they sell the food is all fried everything, from French fries to mac and cheese to Oreos. I am from right outside of DC, and at an event like this I would be taking advantage of all the different ethnic options. I am from a wildly diverse area so I am always being exposed to different cultures and much healthier options. My family also enjoys my grandmas home cooked foods, that are also much healthier. When the band went by in the parade it was so small, which made me think about Dawn from Trampoline. She did not even attend school and extracurricular activities were not mentioned. There was also a strong Trump support in the parade and many of the individuals were wearing “Make America Great Again” apperal. My mom supported Hillary in the election and also had too much to drink at the parade, she started cheering when the only democratic car drove by. Everyone started staring at us, and someone said “Stop! You are going to get shot.” It is a different area, the economy there is based off the WISP ski resort and the lake as tourist attractions. Economies based mainly off tourism tend to not be that strong and Deep Creek is no different. I love the area and I hope next time to not just as strongly.


At the beginning of the school year I went to Home Place. The food was so good. We waited over an hour to be seated, but the food is prepared in mass amounts before getting to us so it was ready to be served fast. It was located deep in the mountains the scenary made me appreciate all that Appalachia has to offer. It is located less than half a mile from two of my favorite hiking locations, Macafee’s knob and dragon’s tooth. There were lots of family gatherings including the extended family. It emphasized the importance of family values. It made me think of Dawn’s family and how they were close, but in a unique way. We ate more traditional foods that make you think of Appalachia, but that are not mentioned in Dawn’s family gatherings. I love family dinners with everyone because some of my favorite memories are sitting with my family around the table. These are some of pictures from my trip to Home Place.




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Final Post

Dear Future President Donald Trump,

Appalachia is a unique and special part of the United States that is home to not only the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, but a plethora of stereotypes. These presumptions are true to some individuals, but they do not apply to everyone in the region. There first inhabitants of the region were the Native Americans, who were displaced by the early settlers through the devastating trail of tears. It was only the first time a group of individuals were overpowered in Appalachia and the theme of power is still a focus and issue today (Finger 25-35). Control of the profitable areas in the area soon became under the control of absentee landowners. Absentee landowners were wealthy individuals that often resided in England and did not even live in the new world (Dunaway 50-75). These individuals started the trend of pumping resources and money outside of the area, reaping the benefits of such a fruitful area. The poorest individuals resided closer to the top of the mountains, while the wealthier individuals and companies controlled the flatter land that could be used to farm and make a profit (Dunaway 50-75).

The civil war destroyed Appalachia like much of the rest of the country. Although there were some reforms to rebuild the area, changes in party control led to the discontinuation of aid (McKinney, 46-48). State governments cut off funding to the area, creating a large social gap between Appalachia and the rest of the country. For the first time the media began to exploit the poverty, which ignited severe stereotypes in the region. It was the beginning of the rest of the country uniting hopeless with Appalachia (McKinney, 46-48).

Harlan County USA and Mine Wars were two videos we watched in class that summarized the history of coal mining in the area and the effects that mountain top removal have on the area. West Virginia coal mining continued the trend of oppression of the native people. The coal companies in West Virginia were the last to make improvements for their employees. The miners lived in coal camps in homes owned by the mining companies. The companies paid in their own currency that could only be used at the only store in the coal camps. The camps were kept segregated to keep the miners from coming together against the mining companies. Eventually after many strikes, which led to shootings the mining companies awarded better rights and conditions to their employees. Mining has many ups and downs in the last century peaking during the wars and declining in periods of restoration. It has led to the increase in production, therefore increasing jobs followed by periods of hundreds of workers being laid off. Today few people are employed by the mining companies because of the explosion of technology. Mountain top removal is the most popular and efficient way to mine the coal, which was illegal until President Busch altered a few words legalizing it. Mountain top removal mutilates the land and the companies do little to protect and take care of those who live by the sites. Slurry is what is collected from cleaning coal and stored in large ponds that are filled to the brim and no one is sure when they might break. One slurry pond did break ruining the homes for miles around as the sludge poured out burring towns. Today mining companies find any loop hole to get out of correctly restoring the land after literally removing an entire mountain. Safe drinking water is another resource many Appalachians do not have access to because the water has been polluted by mining. The water has led to cancer clusters throughout the region. The companies are not only removing mountains from the region, but removing the dignity of many of the individuals in the region.

Mining has torn the region apart. Trampoline a novel by Robert Gipe discusses a young teenage girls struggle to fight for the end of mountain top removal in her community, while trying to grow up in a family hindered by drugs and poverty. As mountain top removal destroys the homes of many individuals in the area, it is one of the only remaining job resource. The conflict in the book is one many communities experience in Appalachia. Gipe also mentions another problem the region faces, drugs, specifically oxycodone. The regions addiction to drugs stemmed from the population primarily in blue collar jobs. Doctors hand out prescriptions of the drug, which has led to many overdoses.

Today as jobs continue to dwindle away, how can Appalachia finally be saved from its long history of poverty and oppression? The last few decades’ government leaders have tried to implement programs to fuel the economy and help individuals grow. These programs include increased funding for education and hospitals, and the creation of new and highways that have little use. These programs tend to only help some communities, while other communities continue to struggle. These programs are also not sustainable because the individuals still do not have jobs to sustain these programs without government funding.

So Mr. President I bring you a challenge. Create jobs for the people of Appalachia and then set up programs for their children, their water, and their mountains. Sustainable jobs that will be able to be used for years to come, not jobs that are only good for a few months. I personally believe renewable energy is something this country needs to invest in. Wind and solar energy need government investments to create a better environment for Appalachia and the whole world. It would not only create jobs for individuals in Appalachia, but would decrease the United States reliance on other countries for energy. I do not think we should build pipelines that are unsafe for the communities, and these pipelines are not sustainable. Make sure the industries that are introduced to Appalachia are keeping the money in Appalachia and not funneling it to already wealthy companies and individuals.

On Monday morning the moon came close to the earth and became a large glowing ball in the sky. My best friend and I drove to Bald Knob to watch the moon light up the beautiful mountains around us. We then watched another orange ball rise up over the region. Bald knob is one of the hidden treasures of the Appalachian Mountains. Create an economy that will keep the region beautiful for centuries to come. I chose to use this picture because its a lot better than the ones I took.





Works Cited

Dunaway, Wilma A. “Speculators and Settler Capitalists.” (n.d.): 50-75. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Finger, John. “Cherokee Accorodation and Persistence in the Southern Appalachians.” (n.d.): n.pag. Web. 31 Aug. 2016.

Gipe, R. (2015). Trampoline: An illustrated novel. Athens: Ohio University Press.

McKinney, Gordon B. “Civil War and Reconstruction.” High Mountains Rising. Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield: U of Illinois, 2004. 46-48. Print.


Trampoline is a literally achievement. Gipe takes a society that is stereotypically described as uneducated and shallow. He takes a group of so called helpless individuals and shows to the reader how these individuals can be empowered just like everyone else. When a person is passionate about something they will fight for what they feel is right. I loved the novel, I think it perfectly encapsulated the feelings of the youth in the area. I also like how Giles accents accents how easy it is to influence or dissuade the youth. The principle of Dawn’s school played such an influence on Dawn’s refusal to return to school. I also loved how the Governor empowered Dawn to continue believing in the cause she was fighting for.

The family dynamic in Trampoline can be abstract for those who are unfamiliar with the area. The relationships can be unique, but that does not mean that they do not care about one another. Dawn is raised by her grandmother, even though her mother is alive. Dawn’s mother is so engulfed by drugs she tries to steal the paychecks from her family members. Dawn wrecks a car and then steals another car. When her grandmother finds her, instead of yelling at her, encourages her to go on. I think this shows that the relationships they share are more important than the material items in their lives. Dawn and Hubert have a rather interesting relationship as well. They get into the moon shine business together, and both almost go to jail for it. Hubert later admits he wanted to try to step in for Dawn’s father who had passed away. Although their lifestyle is different, their relationships are strong.

Our project was an Instagram account, so follow us!



Something happened to my coal flowers and they did not turn out the way they were supposed to. Here is a picture of what they are supposed to look like. I am confused on the law and juristdiction behind the coal companies being allowed to do dump the coal waste into a stream and create something like this. It destroys everything in the jar, which means it destroys the West Virginia environment. The article “Show me where to put my fishing pole”, explains all of the effects coal mining waste has on the waterways. Mountain Top Removal destroys environments faster than traditional mining techniques. It decreases the biodiversity, increases the chance for flooding, and there are many other terrible harmful and nonreversible outcomes of mountain top removal. The part that fascinates me the most out of the region is that this is all possible to do elected officials. The representatives for the area and President Busch have led to legalization of Mountain Top Removal mining. As West Virginia’s environment is destroyed and adapts the government or coal companies have yet to take any responsibility. In Flint, Michigan the government sanctioned money for the clean up of the water. The coal companies have yet to invest any money to aid the disaster they have caused. Will the coal companies ever take responsibility for the destruction of West Virginia? Will the government ever sanction money to aid in the clean up? Will the government ever create laws protecting the land or the people of West Virginia or will it protect the coal companies forever?


Coal Mining Organizations

The Maryland Coal Association, Inc. works to network companies with the coal industry. There was not a lot of information of their website. It seems the company is trying to connect wealthy individuals with their company. It does not work to help the blue collar workers in Appalachia. They also advocate on issues in the coal industry. The coal companies do not want to associate with the working class miners. They do not care about these individuals because they are not helping the coal miners make money. They also do care about the miners because the role of the miners is small with the advancement of technology. The companies with money and resources should connect with the miners because they have the resources to improve the lives’ of the miners. Helping the coal miners, however, costs money, money the companies do not want to spend.




“Lesser finds that most sub- cultural descriptions emphasize only the dramatic and destructive traits of Appalachia and emphasize the Appalachian people as passive and apathetic carriers of their culture…. Stephenson uses the term ‘contentment’ as contrasted to Weller’s term ‘fatalism’” (Lewis, Knipe, 13, 26).

This quote really summarized my thoughts as I have been learning the history of Appalachia. I think it encompasses how the native people feel about the area and how the stereotypes in the region have hindered the people more than anything else. My family is from Garrett County, Maryland, right in the center of the Appalachian region. My dad grew up in the stereotypical Appalachian family. My grandfather was abused by the coal mining companies and they had no money. They used to eat squirrels for dinner and lived in a 2 bed room tiny home. My dad and grandfather, like many individuals of Appalachia, take great pride in the qualities they have from growing up in the region. Everyone on my dad’s side of the family prides themselves on their work ethic. My dad knew if he ever wanted to start a successful career he was going to need to move away. So I grew up in Northern Virginia. He is one of the few that moved away and never went back. My one cousin works for a company in Canada and spends half the year in Garrett County and the other half in Toronto. It is interesting to see how my family members have transitioned to different regions, yet kept many Appalachian qualities. Some people may look down upon how my family grew up, but they never would be the hardworking individuals they are today without growing up in the hardships of Appalachia.

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The first picture is me with my brother and cousin on my other cousin Teddy’s deck. He recently bought and remodeled himself a multimillion dollar home overlooking the mountain peak where West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania come together. He is the same cousin who works for a law firm out of Toronto. He is exactly what success from Appalachia looks like. He loves the area and never wants to leave, however, he knows there is no work in the region. He also still has his blue collar side and was able to renovate his home all by himself. He worked construction as a side job to repay all of his debt from law school.


The next two pictures are of me feeding cows on my Great Uncle’s farm in the region. My Aunt and Uncle live in a very tiny house with deer all over the wall.


The last picture is of some of my other family members that live in Garrett County as well.

Lewis, Helen Matthews., and Ed Knipe. The Colonialism Model: The Appalachian Case. Wise, VA: Publisher Not Identified, 1970. Print.

Discussion Question:


My discussion question also correlates with my research project…


Does Appalachia need another program so be set in place or perhaps a more stable industry?

Appalachian Music

Many different backgrounds settled in Appalachia throughout history, which gave rise to a unique type of music. The stereotypes of Appalachia also contributed to many of the lyrics of Appalachian music. I found Bill Malone’s piece on Appalachian music rather contradictory. Malone begins his piece by discussing “there is no such thing as ‘Appalachian Music.’” (115). He describes a “wide variety of instrumental and vocal styles made by Appalachian musicians, many of which have exerted great influence in the larger realm of American music and all of which have exhibited the eclectic and steadily evolving nature of life in the mountains” (115). I am not sure why music made by Appalachian people that summarizes the way of life in Appalachia is not considered “Appalachian Music.” Malone then goes on to describe gospel music as true Appalachian Music. He says students of Appalachian music learn the elements of Appalachian music. If Appalachian Music does not exist, why is it a scholarly discipline?


When I think of Appalachia I think of the music I grew up listening to on my grandparent’s deck overlooking the orange sun set behind the blue mountains. Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, and Willie Nelson are all some of the artists I think of when I think of Appalachia. Johnny Cash’s song A boy named Sue I think fully captures the stereotypes associated with Appalachia and has a country sound. Cash’s music incorporated many genres of music such as, country, rock, and gospel. If Appalachian Music cannot be described because of its broad range, how can a song that incorporates a broad range not be considered Appalachian music?


Well, my daddy left home when I was three

And he didn’t leave much to ma and me

Just this old guitar and an empty bottle of booze



I also have the image of the neighborhood sitting on the porch dancing and singing folk music in the movie The Notebook. Malone also references scenes like above, “People cleared a room of furniture, invited the neighbors in for a Saturday night dance, and stepped to the music of a fiddler or banjo player” (116).


Discussion question:


There is country music, there is rock, classical, country, bluegrass, gospel, and endless of different genres. Many of the artists of these genres overlap and incorporate characteristics of other genres into their work. How can a genre or category be defined or not exist? As things evolve do genres original definition hold or should the definition evolve as well?


Straw, Richard Alan., Tyler Blethen, and Bill Malone. High Mountains Rising: Appalachia in Time and Place. Urbana: U of Illinois, 2004. Print.


Marco Williams directed an entire movie based off the different in viewpoints between African Americans and Whites. Williams discusses the importance of viewing a situation from different viewpoints, “the need to see things, to interpret, through segregated lenses” (McKnight). I am from Northern Virginia, right outside of D.C. and on the other side of the river is Maryland. During the recession, the government developed many different plans to stimulate the economy in the area, by creating jobs. National Harbor, from the outside, seems to appeal to wealthy individuals. Almost all of the images of National Harbor include a large yacht. The large Ferris wheel also seems to appeals to those living comfortably.  National Harbor sits on the waterfront of the Potomac River downstream from Washington DC. It is also in between many poor neighborhoods. These neighborhoods have high crime rates and are not areas anyone wants to walk alone. Some of the poorest Marlyand residents wander the streets on National Harbor amongst the five star restaurants and hotels. Although there are some wealthy individuals who visit, the area is over taken by poverty. My family and I, personally do not like to go because of the tone set by the residents. The people who use the area the most are scaring away the individuals who are supposed to be stimulating the area. Wootten and Sheppard viewed Appalachia, differently, because they had different backgrounds (Watkins). Sheppard saw depicted the area as more industrialized with buildings and infrastructure, while Wootten traditionally tried to capture the natural side of Appalachia. Both Sheppard and Wootten accurately convey Appalachia, but their backgrounds differentiated what was important in Appalachia (Watkins). I am from the area and I view National Harbor as a ghetto. An individual looking at the National Harbor’s website, may view it as a sophisticate area and does not see the underlying truth behind the images. Neither of these views, however, depict the view or opinion of the residents surrounding National Harbor (McKnight). All sides of the story are correct and have truth, but they all potentially create different reputations for the same place.



McKnight, Lynn. “Whose Agenda Is It, Anyway? Documentary Burdens, Community Benefits.” Community Arts Network (2003): n. pag. Web. 20 Sept. 2016.


Watkins, Charles Alan. Essays (1985): 215-38. Web.