Appalachia was once a magnet for people from someplace else. In the boom years of the 1910s and 1920s, European immigrants poured in, as did blacks from the American South.
They came to carve their purchase of the American dream in the coal mines and factories, and on the railroad.
Just three decades later, most of those dreams would be tapped out. On the other side of the boom, the exodus from Appalachia began in the 1950safter the first of many economic downturns forced more than 3 million people to leave for work elsewhere.
The ones who left never stopped longing for home, and the emotional experience of those Appalachians in transit is the subject of a well-received documentary,Long Journey Home,that will be screened Monday, Oct 15 by West Virginia Universitys Center for Womens Studies.
The showing will be from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Mountainlairs Shenandoah Room.
Elizabeth Barret, a Kentucky-based documentary filmmaker directed the movie, which was praised by writer and commentator Studs Terkel and also received favorable reviews inAmerican Anthropologistmagazine.
Dr. Barbara Howe, an associate professor of history and director of WVU s Center for Womens Studies, will moderate discussion afterward.
The screening is one of many events hosted this fall by the center. All events are free and open to the public. Theyre made possible by contributions to the Womens Studies Development Fund at WVU .