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    Friday, April 11, 2014

    Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman

    As an Appalachian African-American woman, Memphis Tennessee Garrison belonged to a category of persons who have been triply ignored by historians. The daughter of former slaves, she moved to Gary, West Virginia, at the age of eight and died at the age of 98 in Huntington, West Virginia. The coalfields of McDowell county were among the richest seams in the nation and Gary, home of U.S. Steel, was one of the largest mines in the country. As Garrison makes clear, the backbone of that workforce - those who laid the railroad tracks, manned the coke ovens, and dug the coal - were black miners. These miners and their families created communities that became the centers of the struggle for unions, better education, and expanded civil rights and Memphis Tennessee Garrison, an innovative teacher, administrative worker at U.S. Steel, and vice-president of the National Board of the NAACP at the height of the civil rights struggle (1963-66) was at the center of all of these struggles. In many ways, this oral history, based on interview transcripts, is the untold and multidimensional story of African-American life in a West Virginia company town, as seen through the eyes of a remarkable woman. [Memphis_Tennessee_Garrison]_Memphis_Tennessee_Gar_bookos-z1.org_

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