About This Site
This web site brings together teaching and curriculum resources to be used in conjunction with Coal Black Voices, a documentary produced by Jean Donohue and Fred Johnson. The materials offered here are free and for the use of anyone. They include downloadable PDF curricula materials, online resources, and streamed video. If you would like to purchase a copy of the documentary it is modestly priced for individual classroom use.
is designed to engage the viewing participant in the history of African American culture, the roots of Black literary traditions and their contemporary relationship with the Appalachian literary movement among other regional literary traditions. It features ten Affrilachian Poets including Nikky Finney, Frank X Walker, Crystal Wilkinson and Kelly Norman Ellis. It also features commentary by writer Gurney Norman and African Diaspora scholar C. Daniel Dawson.
Site goals and objectives
The goals of the Coal Black Voices web-based study guide are to provide a free study guide and teaching resources to help the community to explore, understand, honor contemporary African American culture and celebrate regional expressions of the African Diaspora. The Appalachian Experience......The web site will engage the viewer/user in history of African American culture, the roots of Black literary traditions, writers, poets and artists movements as they move through history.
It is an intimate and fierce mosaic of images, poetry, and storytelling by the
Affrilachian Poets, an ensemble of writers from Appalachia and the South. This
documentary portrays the creation of a literary cultural intervention that
flows unbroken from the land and the poets' literary 'ancestry' - African-American,
Southern, Latino, Appalachian and African.
It features the voices of these writers who provide glimpses of life in the American
Black South and Appalachian region and, through language, challenge black cultural
identities and the national notion of an all white Appalachian region, and,
culture. Drawing on traditions like the Black Arts Movement, the Harlem Renaissance,
and the experience of the African Diaspora, the Affrilachians are part of a
national explosion of Black cultural expression now taking place. The documentary
brings together scholarly interviews, poets' readings and performances with
poetry text, photos, commentary and music all brought together to create for
the viewer an experience of the energy and impact of the poets "heightened
You can purchase the Coal Black Voices documentary and the Affrilachian Poets'
books from the Media Working Group store.