I shared this on my FB recently but wanted to be sure to put it on here as well.
As I ponder on my way home from Thanksgiving I think about the generational gaps I see and how most of the time I am torn in between. The young generation finding their place in the world, the older generation full of experiences. This thought came to me about when people raised in the same area, or not, calls individuals from Appalachia ignorant and stupid, they are disrespecting an entire culture. A culture that has different experiences. Which leads to different opinions and viewpoints. Dismissing experiences of an entire population group. Let that sink in. We’re in an age of validating and affirming people’s experiences, but sometimes it seems this group is forgotten and further silenced.
I’ll never forget growing up my grandmother would correct me when I mispronounced a word and she would say, “Now Jenny you have to speak correctly, if not people will think you’re a dumb Hillbilly.” And she was right. She fought for her degree and became a nurse. She took pride in her education. She also took pride in who she was and where she came from, she was just trying to make it easier for me. But even now 2021, people still have preconceived ideas and microagressions about us Hillbillies. But I do think now more than ever, people are owning their roots and being proud; taking ownership of this identity. Appalachia is full of resilient and innovative people.