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African American Coal Miners
  • unldon April 2016
    I am researching families that may have moved from Virginia to southwestern West Virginia after slavery to find work in the coal mines. Last year a new museum was established in Matewan, WVA called the Mine Wars Museum. It chronicles the history of the coal industry and the labor unrest in the first 20+ years of the 1900's. There is knowledge that black families came to the area and worked alongside locals and immigrants in the mines. They were also active in the strikes and the armed insurrection. Unfortunately the curator and the board have been unable to locate black families that may have stories and photos from that era. It's a piece of the story that is missing. Likely these families moved on when the work situation became too contentious to be able to support their familes. The museum would like to locate descendents of some of these coal miners. Can anyone provide a lead?

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