Where is Appalachia?
When the exact location of Appalachia is considered, there are many different opinions. Some would say that Appalachia is an attitude rather than a geographic location, while others argue that Appalachia is a location, running the same path as the Appalachian Mountains. Others even argue that things such as coal, music, or the attitudes of rebellion and freedom define the location of Appalachia. According to this video and the Appalachian Regional Commission, (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3b8LnloTtw) Appalachia is “a 205,000 square mile region that follows the Appalachian Mountains for more than 1,000 miles.” It includes all of West Virginia and parts of 12 other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The ARC says that Appalachia encompasses 420 counties. However, counties have been added since the origin of the commission, and continue to be added, leading people to wonder if anyone actually has a set definition! When questioned about the boundaries, the commissioner of the ARC said, “I had to draw the lines somewhere.” While some define the region geographically, there is also the argument that Appalachia is a way of life, while outsiders who are ignorant to the subject may define it simply as the land of the hicks. I recently watched a documentary on Netflix, called “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” and to much of the world, things such as this documentary define the location of Appalachia. It displayed a family (the Whites) located in Boone County, West Virginia, who are known very well by the law. They use drugs, kill people, and make moonshine. Combining for a total of probably 20 teeth, and an IQ score of 12, films like this only fuel the fire of stereotyping in Appalachia. Many people however, forget to recognize Poney White, who, in the documentary escaped Boone County. He now lives in Minnesota, and is...
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