First & foremost, most photo-formatted publications focused on Appalachia leave the impression that the only thing black in Central Appalachia is coal! Until I picked up Builder Levy's Appalachia USA, I had not seen a book about Appalachia with an African American, let alone a black coal miner, on the front cover. The foreword from Denise Gardina & the back cover blurb by Silas House is a major coup! In Appalachian literary circles, Denise and Silas have eminent credentials and mountain-high credibility: getting their nods of approval is a major affirmation. My grandfathers, father, uncles and brother worked in coal mines in Harlan County, Kentucky. In Builder's images, I see them, our home, the landscape, the struggles for justice, and the choices being taken to direct the future of the region. The magnificent photographs together with carefully crafted text makes this a very important book. Surely, it will take its rightful place among the iconic pieces on Appalachia.
William H. Turner, PhD Co-Editor / Blacks in Appalachia (1984) Distinguished Professor/Appalachian Studies, Retired, Berea College.