Historic West Virginia Mine Wars to be Explored in Show

March 25, 2014

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Paula Witherell
Director of Institutional Communication
Daemen College
(716) 839-8472

Saro Lynch ThomasonSaro Lynch-Thomason

AMHERST, N.Y. -- The history and culture surrounding the West Virginia mine wars of the early 1920s will be explored through images and music of the era at a 7:30 p.m. performance on April 2 in the Daemen College Wick Campus Center Social Room.

Activist, artist and folklorist Saro Lynch-Thomason will present the “West Virginia Mine Wars Show,” which will look at the 20-year battle for union and miners’ rights in West Virginia. The multi-media show will also examine the connection between traditional Appalachian culture, labor activism, coal mining, and the historical significance of Blair Mountain, where one of the largest civil uprisings in U.S. history took place and today is considered an endangered historic site.

Lynch-Thomason’s show will feature a narration of the story of the coal wars through first-person perspectives and period photographs. In addition, she will perform music from the era on a mountain dulcimer, a traditional instrument of Appalachia.

Saro Lynch Thomason with a DulcimerSaro Lynch-Thomason with a Dulcimer

Illustrations from Lynch-Thomason’s new children’s book, “Lone Mountain,” will be on display at the event. The book focuses on the people and environment of the Southern Appalachian region, which is endangered by mountaintop removal coal mining.

The show is free and open to the public. Co-sponsors are the Daemen offices of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, Division of Arts and Sciences, the History and Political Science, Modern Languages and Visual and Performing Arts departments, and the Global and Local Sustainability Program.

More information is available by contacting Dr. Penny Messinger, associate professor of history, at pmessing@daemen.edu.

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