How Black poets and writers gave a voice to ‘Affrilachia’
Today, Black writers and poets continue to explore what it means to be Black and from Appalachia.
Roughly 9% of Appalachian residents are Black, and this renders many of the region’s Black people “hypervisible,” meaning they stick out in primarily white spaces.
Many Affrilachian poems explore this dynamic, along with the tension of participating in activities, such as hunting, that are stereotyped as being of interest only to white Americans. Food traditions, family and the Appalachian landscape are also central themes of the work.
Affrilachian poet Chanda Feldman’s poem “Rabbit” touches on all of these elements.