Skip Navigation

Sign In or Register

West-virginia-encyclopedia-text

Article Discussion

Note: This discussion is related to the African-American Coal Miners article. Please read the article in full before contributing to the discussion. Thanks!


Comments about African-American Coal Miners

Name Message

Jamila Fleet says...

On 10/01/13
at 04:54 PM

Thank you! I am looking forward to reading more information on this very interesting topic.

Joe Zias says...

On 10/25/14
at 11:53 AM

My late father was a Penna coal miner from age 12 and was surprised to see for the first time African-American coal miners speaking Polish, the lingua franca of the coal miners there across from WVA. Later on during the period when they were trying to unionize the mines the owners brought in African-Americans to break the movement. When caught, they would cut off a portion of the victims ear, a sign that he was a strike breaker. Any information on this practice as biblical archaeologist in Israel, cutting off the ear of nose of someone committing a crime was standard practice, esp. among in the Roman Empire.

Mark Higgs says...

On 11/18/14
at 04:13 PM

My wife and I have a camp on the Elk River below Ivydale in Clay County. Around 2004 we decided to take a road trip and explore around Widen in Clay County. On one of the roads leading out of Widen we noticed a small cemetery just off the road up on a bank. We stopped and looked at the grave markers and thought it strange that there were just numbers on them. There were only about two dozen or fewer graves marked. When we went back through Widen we stopped and asked a man sitting on his porch what the story was on that cemetery. He said it was where the “blacks and furriners” (miners) were buried. Since that time I have seen articles in either the “Wild Wonderful WV” magazine or “Goldenseal.” As I recall the ledgers associating the numbers with a name were lost when the Elk River Coal and Lumber Company closed their offices in Widen. Widen was the scene of Union and Company conflicts especially in the Fifties. I have read several interesting books about the WV Mine Wars.


To participate in article discussions, you must sign in.

If you don't have an account, you can register for a free account here.

West Virginia Humanities Council | 1310 Kanawha Blvd E | Charleston, WV 25301 Ph. 304-346-8500 | © 2018 All Rights Reserved

About e-WV | Our Sponsors | Help & Support | Contact Us The essential guide to the Mountain State can be yours today! Click here to order.