The Council of the Southern Mountains Records
100 linear feet
Overview & Series
Series I - Administrative Records
Series II - Correspondence
ABB - DES | DIL
- HAG | HAL - KDA | KEE
- MYN | NED - SMI | SMI
Series III -
Commissions | CSEJs | Related
Organizations | Affiliated Organizations | Subject | Funding
Series IV - Mining Records
Series V - Bookstore Records
Series VI - Mountain
Life & Work Production
Series VII - Newspaper Clippings
Series VIII - Publications
Series IX - Speeches and Writings
Series X - Maps
Series XI - Artwork & Folklore
Series XII - Photographs
Series XIII - Audio
Series XIV - Video
Series XV - Blueprints & Posters
Series XVI - Artifacts
The Council of the Southern Mountains was formed in 1913 by a group of social
workers, pastors, academia, and other people who wished to help the region.
Originally called the Conference of the Southern Mountain Workers until 1954,
the members sought to improve the health conditions, advance agricultural practices,
strengthen emphasis on spiritual issues, and preserve the unique culture within
the region. In the earliest years these issues were addressed through annual
conferences where hundreds of interested and active people came together for
discussion of problems and solutions.
Some of the early objectives of the Council were: (1) to promote
fellowship among those engaged in social, educational, or religious
work in the Southern Mountain area and through exchange of ideas
to further the best methods of work; (2) to carry on study and
research related to the basic needs of the area; (3) to hold an
annual conference at some central place in the area and such regional
conferences as may be desired; (4) to carry on and administer services
of benefit to the area as a whole; and (5) to publish a journal
which interpreted life and work in the area.
In the 1940s, membership began to dwindle, financial support
ceased, and faith in the organization to survive was lacking. Perley
F. Ayer, a rural sociologist teaching at Berea College, was selected
to become Executive Secretary in 1951. Ayer sought in every way
to strengthen the Council, and by the mid-sixties had revived it
into being the largest and most significant social organization
in the region. Ayer's leadership saved the Council during a crucial
time and allowed it to be open for change during the 1960s. The
rural to urban migrant focus began under him, as concern grew for
those Appalachians who were leaving the depressed areas to seek
work in the industrial cities of the north. Workshops were aimed
at city service professions which would likely have contact with
migrants. These workshops sought to educate these people about
what made these migrants different and how to deal with these differences
so the tensions and lack of understanding would be reduced. These
workshops continued throughout the 1970s and 1980s.
Ayer's Council philosophy revolved around the idea of faith in
people and give-and-take discussions at all levels; he did not
see the Council as a champion of one cause or one group, but as
the forum where different or even opposing sides could come together
and create change and improvement. He worked at a furious pace
throughout his fifteen year career as the Council's Executive Secretary,
and later as Executive Director, until his death in 1967. Throughout
his correspondence it is evident that his personality was the catalyst
which rejuvenated the organization at a time of deterioration.
Following Ayer's death in 1967, Loyal Jones took position of CSM
Loyal Jones served twelve years as a staff member of CSM, beginning
in 1958 when Perley F. Ayer appointed him as his assistant. Council
philosophy was changing to an activist approach influenced by the
surrounding attitudes, issues, and movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
They began to focus more on coal mining issues and related concerns
in labor, health, safety, and land ownership. As the Council's
focal point shifted to these higher risk issues, their narrow base
of financial resources began to reconsider funding projects. During
this turbulent and progressive time, Loyal Jones resigned in 1970
after three and a half years as Executive Director. Soon afterwards
he became Director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College,
and was active in the Appalachian Studies Conference, which later
became the Appalachian Studies Association. These two organizations
supported similar concerns as the Council, but approached them
at a different angle. Many of the Council members who broke away
from CSM during the late 1960s and early 1970s re-established themselves
in these allied organizations.
In his resignation letter, Loyal Jones explained three crises
facing the Council. He listed them as (1) finances: funding was
dwindling, and relying on grants to fund large programs was too
dependent; (2) management: the role and relationship of the Board,
staff, and membership; and (3) purpose: it was evident that the
Council's purpose was changing, and the Council needed to redefine
its mission if it expected to continue. Significant changes in
the Council's philosophy and actions took place between the following
Annual Conferences at Fontana and Lake Junaluska, ushering forth
a new era for the Council of the Southern Mountains.
In the Spring of 1969 at Fontana, North Carolina, the annual
gathering of the Council of the Southern Mountains became a crossroads
for the oldest region-based organization. One such change was to
restructure the Council from its previous top-down structure. The
Board and staff became less centralized and the focus rested on
member involvement from the Commissions, giving the poor, blacks,
youth, and aged a much stronger voice on the Board. Originally,
the founders saw the Council as a whole meeting only once a year,
to learn about various issues concerning the region, and to take
care of business. Later, it was decided that that the real work
was to take place in the Commissions, which would focus peoples'
energies onto a specific issue. It was during the 1969 Conference
when four new Commissions were formed: Poor People's Self-Help,
Black Appalachian, Aging, and Social and Economic Research.
These Commissions required more financial assistance as their
programs branched into mine health and safety, welfare, and development,
for communities that were unable to afford these programs. Yet,
funding for evolving organizations such as CSM was limited, so
the staff was forced to think of ways to maximize their aid to
the various community programs. While being a non-profit organization
was an asset to the region, the costly programs focused on coal
mining and related concerns still needed funds in order to operate.
The Council regularly called upon the financial assistance of the
Commission on Religion in Appalachia (CORA) and Appalachian Development
Projects Committee (ADPC) through grant applications and proposals.
CORA's role in Appalachian development was "to facilitate
and administer the partnership between communities and Appalachian
organizations in working together." ADPC participated in CORA's
work with this role in mind by strengthening locally controlled
Appalachian organizations (and supporting regional groups) that
desired to work in partnership with the communities and were concerned
with meeting the human needs through political self-determination,
economic self-sufficiency, cultural revitalization, and upgrading
the service delivery system. ADPC and CORA awarded funds each year
for such programs as the Mine Health and Safety Project, various
Citizens for Social and Economic Justice (CSEJ) programs, and the
general council budget. The Council was largely dependent on this
funding option, and in the years to come would find increasing
difficulties and tension as a result of this financial dependence.
These dubious changes left many Council members unsure of where
these changes were going to lead their organization.
Further changes took place during the 1970 Annual Conference
at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. It was at this time when members
were able to vote on whether or not to accept the Board's decision
regarding the closing of the books thirty days prior to the Annual
Meeting to determine membership eligibility at the Annual Meeting.
After the vote was taken the Board's decision was not upheld, but
the Board's recommendation on membership criteria was adopted.
This was also when the Youth Commission's final resolution came
on the floor, after many members had already left the Conference,
and though the wording of the resolution was not intended to be
socialistic or even communistic, the remaining members worried
over the resolution's intent. The Youth Commission proposed that "The
defined operational goal of the Council of the Southern Mountains
should be the democratic public control of Appalachia's natural
resources, basic energy development and transportation, emphasizing
decentralization democratic community and workers' control." Instead,
the resolution was tabled to be dealt with at a later date.
Also, during the 1970 Conference at Lake Junaluska, three men
were chosen to work as a team to lead CSM for an interim period
of one year, 1970-1971. Warren Wright was chosen as acting Executive
Director and over-all coordinator, Julian Griggs would work with
and coordinate the work of the Commissions, and Isaac Vanderpool
would be responsible for seeking funds, help in developing programs
and grant proposals, and assist in developing models for staffing.
This triumvirate, as some people referred to Wright, Griggs, and
Vanderpool, marked the beginning of the Council's changing role
in the Appalachian region. The Council's purpose as a grassroots
community organization began to focus on uniting poor and working
class people in Appalachia, and to assist them as they organized
on community and regional levels to solve their own problems. Through
many dedicated hours of work from devoted and passionate staff
members, three tools were used and maintained to achieve these
goals. It was through a Mine Health and Safety Program; a monthly
magazine, Mountain Life & Work; and the Appalachian Book and
Record Shop, that the Council served Appalachian needs in these
After the triumvirate's one year term leading the Council, Jim
Somerville was elected and served as President of the Council from
1971-1973. Previously he had worked as a pastor at churches in
Troy and Hanesville, Alabama, but because of his commitments to
the civil rights movement, he was forced to leave these congregations.
Afterwards, he was a pastor at a church in Wise, Virginia, until
he became director of a Community Action Project there. Because
he believed poor people should control Office of Economic Opportunity
programs and agencies, he lost that job. From there, he moved to
Boone County, West Virginia to supervise fifteen VISTAs (Volunteers
in Service to America). Under his stewardship, Council members
were no exception to activism and concern for health and welfare
rights, which were on the rise in the early 1970s.
Many CSM members were active in organizations like the Black
Lung Association and state or county Welfare Rights Organizations.
On November 6-10, 1971, members of Black Lung and Welfare Rights
Organizations from Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia gathered
together for the "Appalachia Welfare March on Washington for
Survival Against Unfulfilled Promises." The march was to protest
President Nixon's Family Assistance Plan, to clean up state welfare
programs violating federal regulations, and to work for better
black lung laws. Several people spoke with their Congressmen and
Senators while there, expressing frustrations and needs for justice
for coal miners, poor people, needed ambulance services, and better
tests for black lung, among other concerns.
Other activity on the Council's calendar included assistance
in reporting disasters and safety violations of coal companies.
One of these was the Buffalo Creek Disaster, or as some referred
to it, a massacre. It was certainly no "act of God," as
some public and coal company officials claimed. The slag pile used
as a dam broke and flooded the Buffalo Creek community and several
towns further down the creek in Logan County, West Virginia, in
February 1972. Over a thousand homes were destroyed by the flood
waters, and left 84 dead. Four to five thousand persons were left
homeless as a result of the disastrous flood. CSM staff reported
on the disaster in Mountain Life & Work and assisted in investigating
the cause of the flood.
In the midst of tragedy and activism in the early 1970s, new
staff members began to join the Council. In 1972, one of them was
Sally Ward Maggard, who served as Staff Coordinator for CSM at
the Clintwood office. She traveled to meetings of groups which
asked CSM for help in events and projects. She also worked on research
files of central staff, articles for Mountain Life & Work,
and program fund-raising. Sally was one of the driving forces behind
the work that CSM was doing in the 1970s and 1980s. She was a key
figure in advising, organizing, and providing legal help to the
widows of the Scotia mine explosion in March 1976. Another new
Council staff member was Dan Hendrickson, who joined the Council
in 1972, first as a health organizer, then soon after as central
staff. In 1977, he took the role of Coordinator for CSM at the
Clintwood office, and began overseeing all program activities,
which included the Mine Health and Safety Program, Community Unions
Program, and Mountain Life & Work. His work included fund-raising,
reporting and editing, photography, business management, investigative
research, and administrative duties. He participated in strike
support by sending out press packets and releases, attending meetings
and rallies, and keeping files on strikes and support work.
Along with new staff members joining and leading CSM's programs
and activities, the Council decided to move its headquarters from
Berea to Clintwood, Virginia, during the summer of 1972, as an
attempt to cut ties shared with Berea College almost since its
founding. The new location placed the office in the middle of the
central Appalachian coalfields of Dickenson County. The purpose
of this move was to be in the midst of the issues CSM was concerned
about, but membership found the new location to be less accessible
than its previous location in Berea. The office opened on August
1, 1972 in Clintwood and remained there until 1989.
Following Jim Somerville as Council President was Mart Shepherd,
after being elected in 1973. Mart went into the mines at the age
of fourteen and worked till he was disabled with black lung 27
years later. Afterwards in 1965, he helped start Appalachian Group
to Save the Land and People, one of the strongest anti-strip mining
groups to ever fight the coal companies. For many years he struggled
alongside his family and the community to reclaim land which had
been stolen by coal, gas, and timber companies in eastern Kentucky.
After finishing his term as President in 1976, he continued working
for the Council for several years. He eventually accepted a position
on the Board again as Vice-President.
Through the use of Mountain Life & Work, the Council was
able to reach out to the Appalachian region to let them know the
shifting leadership of CSM, regional community group projects,
and various struggles in the region. The magazine's mission had
changed considerably since its start in 1925. ML&W offered
news and feature articles on: "what workers have to say about
their jobs, the struggles for a safe work place, fair wages and
laws to protect them; land and mineral development in Appalachian
coalfields and what people who live there are doing about it; how
Appalachian communities are surviving the federal budget shifts
while fighting back; the organizing victories of more than 100
community groups around the region, how they did it and what it
means to the Appalachian people." In 1975, Mountain Life & Work
celebrated its 50th year anniversary, and continued publication
until 1989. This magazine was a source of information for those
desiring to organize, strike, and fight back coal companies. Strikes
like the one at Brookside were publicized and widely known because
The Brookside miners joined the UMWA in 1973, but Duke Power,
the parent company of the Brookside mine, refused to accept a union
contract. The miners went out on strike, and the picket line was
going strong until the coal company got an injunction against the
strikers. This injunction allowed only three men to picket each
gate. This incident prompted local women to begin striking at Brookside.
Women banded together in Harlan County to strike against Eastover's
Brookside Mine and formed the Brookside Women's Club. An escalating
fight began between the strikebreakers and the men and women on
the picket line. Some men and women were arrested, along with their
young children who were with them in the picket lines, and placed
in the Harlan jail overnight. Finally, a Duke Power employee shot
miner Lawrence Jones one night, resulting in his death. Fearing
bad press, the coal company began negotiations with the miners.
The miners finally received their union contract, but it was a
Organizers often needed legal help and advice, which CSM provided
either by financing the costs, or by having staff members who knew
the system. Elmer Rasnick, another very active Council staff member,
knew the system. He also helped organize the Dickenson County Welfare
Rights Organization (WRO), which grew to become the largest WRO
organization in Virginia. In 1973, he became chairman when its
name changed to Dickenson County Citizens for Social and Economic
Justice (CSEJ). He helped in training paralegals, handling cases
such as Supplemental Security Income, Food Cooperatives, Farm and
Garden Cooperatives, House Coal Projects, and setting up the Citizens
Coal Company. He also helped win a victory in getting a breakfast
program in the Dickenson County school system. In 1974, CSM hired
Elmer as a full-time organizer and director of the Community Unions
Program. He was a key figure in getting free textbooks into elementary
schools, better school bus transportation, improved town water
system, more adequate health care facilities, and opening a trading
Many of the photos throughout Mountain Life & Work, in displays,
posters, and other group projects were photos taken by Cathy Stanley,
the main photographer on the CSM staff. She coordinated all photography
for Mountain Life & Work and CSM. Other work for ML&W included
planning, reporting, writing, layout design, printing photos, halftones,
films and plates at the press. She participated in the Mine Health
and Safety support work in strip mine field monitoring. She testified
at the Office of Surface Mining hearing on strip mining. Cathy
performed many follow-ups for several of the major mine disasters:
Scotia in 1976, Pittston in 1978, and Ferrell in 1980. Many of
the photos taken during these events and the interviews afterwards
were taken by Cathy Stanley.
On March 9 and 11, 1976, two methane gas explosions occurred
at the Scotia mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. This was the first
major crises of that sort CSM's Commission for Mine Health and
Safety handled. The disaster claimed the lives of 23 miners and
3 inspectors. With several of the most competent lawyers in the
field, Thomas Galloway , Gerald Stern, and Davitt McAteer, CSM
aided all the widows and families from the first explosion to sue
Blue Diamond Coal Company in a combined law suit. Sally Ward Maggard,
Cathy Stanley, Dan Hendrickson, and countless other staff members
assisted the widows and families of the miners through organizing,
press-screening, and collection of evidence. It was serious work
that would continue for the next several years.
Other serious work the Council delved into and helped financed,
was the Community Unions program. This included numerous Citizens
for Social and Economic Justice groups especially in southwest
Virginia and eastern Kentucky, which began organizing for economic
development projects, such as small-scale farm and garden, solar
greenhouse, and house coal projects. They helped families by providing
paralegal help on citizens' rights issues and individuals' benefits
and claims cases. It has also sponsored Sungro, a project to build
community green houses that can provide vegetable seedlings and
an additional source of income for members and co-ops. This resulted
in feed stores and cooperatives like the ones in Dickenson and
Buchanan counties. Community Unions are all controlled by low-income
people from the local county, and all advocate for the needs and
rights of low-income people. Some of the programs operated by community
unions include food cooperatives, legal aid, restaurants, farm
and garden projects, trading post, fuel and clothing assistance,
coal mine, and tenants' rights.
Through the program work of community unions, CSEJs, and WROs,
Council staff was beginning to grow in membership with activists
such as Bill Worthington. Bill was a retired coal miner with 33
years of underground mining experience. He worked as Director of
the Mine Health and Safety Program for the Council of the Southern
Mountains. He spoke at countless conventions, rallies, conferences,
and workshops around Appalachia concerning black lung, welfare,
among other Appalachian issues. He had also worked as an advocate
for Miners Health Care Corporation, as an organizer and supervisor
for the Community Action Program, and as a field consultant on
Black Lung for the U.S. Labor Department
Bill Worthington, like several other Council members, was involved
with one of CSM's affiliated organizations, the Black Lung Association,
largely because black lung was a threat to them, their family,
or their community. In 1969, the Black Lung movement sparked massive
wildcat strikes for compensation legislation. The Black Lung Association
won major reforms in federal black lung compensation programs in
1972. Through Mine Health and Safety programs, the Council supported
the Black Lung Association, helped raise awareness, and championed
benefits for coal workers suffering from black lung. All this activity
resulted in Congress finally passing the Black Lung Compensation
Reform Act in 1977. This was just one of the many concerns Council
members fought over for mine health and safety.
Since the start of the 1970s, CSM began working effectively toward
safer coal mining in Appalachian coal mines. The Council was the
first and only safety "representative of the miners" for
non-union miners, a status gained for miners at specific, targeted
underground mines in eastern Kentucky. The Council also was a leader
in broadening the safety rights of miners after four CSM members
were fired from two Pike county, Kentucky non-union coal mines
which, after investigation, became precedent-setting "safety
discrimination cases." Council staff testified and commented
on the federal Mine Safety and Health Amendments Act of 1977, pointing
out how lack of adequate training was linked to mine explosions.
The MH&S Programs worked toward their goal of improving health
and safety of miners by (1) giving support to the Black Lung Association,
(2) organizing non-union miners around safety issues, (3) lobbying
for better health and safety legislation, (4) filing law suits
to bring about better enforcement of health and safety laws, (5)
help training for safety, (6) publicizing health and safety problems,
and (7) supporting United Mine Workers Association mine health
and safety efforts.
MH&S Programs also delved into legal matters, with the use of
testimonies and statements given at hearings. Through "citizens'
participation" strip-mine enforcement was specified and successfully
proposed in CSM testimony in 1977 to both houses of Congress. The
Council recommended the successful steps of enforcement from the
1969 Act be copied and the less successful steps be strengthened
in the new legislation. Several proposed amendments were accepted
in the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.
In 1978, with collected evidence and photos, CSM staff helped close
a MACO Coal Company owned strip mine along Neece Creek in Virginia.
This was one of the first mines to be closed under the Act of 1977.
Another victory for the Council was then they, as "citizens," filed
and won a review of an inspector's inaction of enforcement at Highland
Coal Company in 1979. It was their evidence, photos, inspections
and arguments that won them a series of enforcement actions. CSM
publicized OSM's lax enforcement, and lack of inspections as mandated
by law, through a dozen coalfield weekly publications.
During these great victories in MH&S, the first woman to be elected
President of the Council of the Southern Mountains took place at
the 1977 Annual Meeting in Hindman, Kentucky. Judy McKinney had
played an active part in the community work of the Buchanan County
Citizens for Social and Economic Justice by requesting funds and
grants from various agencies that might have supported their community-focused
programs. She continued this work through the financially difficult
years of the Council, encouraging fund-raising, support, and activity
in the Appalachian region.
Another important Council staff member was Mike Henson, who served
on the Council Board from 1979 till its disbandment in 1989. He
served as Treasurer from 1979 to 1982, focusing on CSM's difficult
budget and actively fund-raising. He served as Secretary from 1983
to 1986, with hopes of improving CSM's membership. He was one of
the key communicators with community groups, inviting them to become
formal member groups of the Council of the Southern Mountains.
The Council's involvement in mine safety continued as the Mine
Health and Safety Program taught about mine safety issues, including
the use of the new oxygen self-rescuers and miners' safety rights
to miners and other persons in the coal community. CSM also pushed
for the requirement of oxygen self-rescuers (self-contained self-rescuers,
or SCSR's) for all underground miners. After investigating several
miner deaths by cause of suffocation, it was proven that with a
SCSR a miner would have had a higher possibility of surviving.
Through investigation and determination, responsibility for safe
mining practices was proven to extend beyond the corporate veil
of complex corporate structures to parent corporations. In 1980,
after four long years a multi-million dollar settlement awarded
$5.9 million to the widows and families of miners who died in the
March 1976 Scotia mine explosions. This was an unprecedented event,
to have fifteen women band together to sue one of the largest coal
companies for irresponsibility in mine health and safety, and proceed
to win the lawsuit. Blue Diamond, the parent coal company of Scotia,
was proven irresponsible. Scotia also pleaded guilty to charges
that it failed to train each miner to use self-rescue equipment.
Scotia also falsely reported that a mine inspector had recently
checked the mine's ventilation system before the explosions.
At the same time in 1980, other changes were taking place for
CSM. The next President of the Council was Almetor King. She was
one of the founders of the Poor People's Self-Help Commission and
the Black Appalachian Commission, two of the groups most instrumental
to reorganizing the Council under the leadership of poor people.
She had worked at the Highlander Research and Education Center
for eleven years, before joining the Council. She was elected Treasurer
of CSM in 1973 and served that position until 1976. In the years
that followed, she was elected Vice-President from 1977-1979, and
President from 1980-1984. Almetor King was also the first African-American
Appalachian woman to be President of the Council of the Southern
Another tragedy occurred, much like the one at Scotia, but this
time the mine explosion took place on December 7, 1981, at the
Adkins Coal Company owned #18 mine in Topmost, Kentucky. The explosion
took the lives of eight miners. The Council staff used their multi-strategy
organizing efforts for the widows and families of these victims.
The Council worked close with the families to push investigations
and hearings to prove the patterns of illegal mining practices
which caused the explosion. The resulting investigation found that
the explosion was caused by coal dust in the air that was set off
by blasting in the area, which violated safety regulations.
Further endeavors in the mine health and safety programs included
the Citizens Coal Company was organized in 1981 as a community-owned
coal mine with the purpose to provide reasonably priced house coal
for low-income families. This was an attempt to run a model mine
for health and safety. Unfortunately, before the coal mine could
ever attempt to prove its purpose, the mining equipment was stolen.
The coal mine had a poor start, being in a non-union county and
without 100% approval from the CSM Board members before the venture
started. This led to tension between staff members about the project,
and the funds lost from the stolen equipment began to push the
Council into debt.
During this financial difficulty, CSM staff assisted groups like
the Yellow Creek Concerned Citizens (YCCC) in their organizing
plans. YCCC formed because their community was concerned that their
drinking water was contaminated by a local Middlesboro, Kentucky,
tannery. A large number of leukemia cases diagnosed in their small
area, thus raising concern and suspicion. They campaigned hard,
all the way up to the federal level, for the reduction of the pollution
and the provision of drinkable water for the residents around Yellow
Creek. CSM assisted by providing publicity and support in their
fight against toxic pollution of their streams, as the Council
staff did with many community groups.
Further work in communities included the studies through the
Land Heirship Organizing project, which was put together by the
Knott County CSEJ and Mart Shepherd. The Council staff assisted
land heirs who were fighting to regain property stolen from their
ancestors by the coal, gas, and timber companies in Kentucky and
Virginia counties. Land had been speculated and sold without the
land owner's approval, or even their knowledge in some cases, for
years. The Council staff assisted families and gave advice on how
to research land deeds. In the Shepherd family case, they disputed
mineral, timber, and surface rights to at least three tracts of
land. They found that the coal company never did have a clear deed
to the land, therefore the land was rightfully owned by the Shepherd
As funding unavailability continued to be discouraging, and debts
were piling up, the Council was dealt a blow in the mid-1980s when
their usual sources of funding declined to fund projects. The Commission
on Religion in Appalachia (CORA) and Appalachian Development Projects
Committee (ADPC) did not grant funding that year for CSM supported
projects and programs. This shed new light on how CSM needed to
seek out funds from other groups and from fund-raising.
The Council continued to keep a watch on strip mines and make
sure they were complying with Federal regulations. If they did
not, CSM members would file citizens' complaints to bring legal
actions down on the offending coal mine. They even, on occasions,
would accompany the inspectors of the mines on their rounds. After
a several-year effort to improve safety management of Blue Diamond
Coal Company, CSM won a settlement in a precedent-setting stockholders'
suit, as part of the Coal Company Monitoring Project. Though, before
the victory, staff was forced to turn over the thousands of pages
and files about their mine monitoring operations.
Another key element to the Council of the Southern Mountains
operations was the bookstore and the people who managed and staffed
it. George Brosi was hired as the Appalachian Book and Record Shop
manager. George began working for CSM as Coordinator of the Youth
Commission in 1967, which enabled him to travel all over the Appalachian
region working with young people. He joined the Board of the Council
in 1970, and the following year was elected Treasurer, serving
the position for two years. After becoming the Bookstore Manager,
he maintained daily bookstore duties, staff, finances, publicity,
book fairs, book reviews, and a book and record catalog each year.
The Council of the Southern Mountains Bookstore, also referred
to as the Appalachian Book and Record Shop, was an integral and
important part of the Council's mission. The store's aim was to
provide information to those who wished to be more knowledgeable
about the Appalachian region, especially about social and cultural
life in the mountains. Two priorities of the bookstore was to serve
its customers honestly and dependably by recommending the Council's
other programs and to encourage an awareness of the positive heritage
of the region by demonstrating the common struggles of the past
to the present ones. A Mobile Bookstore was also part of the program,
bringing these valuable resources right into the places where the
people of the region gather. The book selection fought against
the hillbilly stereotype, and encouraged reading among the Appalachian
rural people. Funds for the nonprofit mobile bookstore were dependent
upon National Endowment for the Humanities grants each year, with
which not only afforded the extensive selection of Appalachian
regional books, but also a number of fairs. The mobile bookstore
usually worked in each county on a two-week cycle. Appalachian
authors, musicians, local activists and craftspeople all were a
large part of these fairs, to encourage pride in Appalachian culture,
history, tradition, life, and work.
Related Berea College Archives
- Council of the Southern Mountains Records,
1913-1970, SAA 1, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
- Council of the Southern Mountains Oral History Collection,
Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
- Appalachian Volunteers Records, SAA
2, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
- Appalachian Volunteers Oral History Collection, 1982, SAA 39,
Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
- Perley F. Ayer Papers, 1952-1968, SAA 21,
Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
- Records of the 1962 Southern Appalachian
Region: A Survey, SAA 3, Berea College Southern Appalachian
- "Voices From the Sixties" Oral History Collection,
1985-1987, SAA 87, Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives.
Related Archives at Other Institutions
- John C. and Olive Dame Campbell Papers, The Southern Historical
Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- Records of the Episcopal Appalachian Ministries / Appalachian
People’s Service Organization (APSO), Archives of the Episcopal
Church, 606 Rathervue Place, P.O. Box 2247, Austin, Texas 78768.
- Records Highlander Research and Education Center / Highlander
Folk School. Wisconsin Historical Society, Madison WI.
- Russell Sage Foundation's Southern Highland Division material,
Russell Sage Foundation Archives, Rockefeller Archive Center,
Sleepy Hollow, New York.
David Whisnant, "Controversy in God's Grand Division: The
Council of the Southern Mountains," Appalachian
Journal, Volume 2, Autumn, 1974, No. 1.
---. More Controversy in God's Grand
Division: The Council of the Southern Mountains, Appalachian
Journal, Volume 2, Spring, 1975, No. 3.
Papers of John C. and Olive Dame Campbell, The Southern Collection,
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Papers of the Southern Highland Division. Russell Sage Foundation
Archives, New York, New York.
Alfred H. Perrin, ed., Seeking a
People Partnership: Challenges by Perley Ayer. 36 pages.
Mountain Life & Work,
1925 to present. Special Collections, Hutchins Library, Berea
College, Berea, Kentucky. Indexed.
Thomas J. Kiffmeyer, The Appalachian
Volunteers: Fighting the War on Poverty in Kentucky, 1963-1970. Thesis
(MA) - Eastern Kentucky University, 1988.
Thomas J. Kiffmeyer, From Self-Help
to Sedition: The Appalachian Volunteers: and the War on Poverty
in eastern Kentucky, 1963-1970. Thesis (Ph.D) - University
of Kentucky, 1998.
Penny Messinger, Leading the Field
of Mountain Work: The Conference of Southern Mountain Workers,
1913-1950. Thesis (Ph.D), Ohio State University, 1998.
Michael Moloney, "Evaluating Education Advocacy Work by
the Urban Appalachian Council." Journal
of Appalachian Studies, Volume 5, Spring 1999, No. 1.
Sally Ward Maggard, "'We're Fighting Millionaires!': The
Clash of Gender and Class in Appalachian Women's Union Organizing." No
Middle Ground: Women and Radical Protest, ed. K. Blee.
New York: New York University Press. 1998.
Ronald Roberts and Carol Cooke-Roberts, Mother
Jones and Her Sisters: A Century of Women Activists in the
American Coal Fields. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing
Earl Dotter, The Quiet Sickness:
A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America.
Fairfax, Virginia: American Industrial Hygiene Association.
George Loveland, "Educating for Social Justice: The Harry
Lasker Library at Highlander." Journal
of Appalachian Studies, Volume 5, Fall 1999, No. 2.
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