Selected Readings on Appalachian Migration and Urban Appalachians

initially compiled by Phillip J. Obermiller

The following is a list of sources that may be helpful for policy makers, researchers, and training program participants. The list is by no means comprehensive, but is meant to introduce users to the subject matter and to provide a beginning point for further exploration.

The entries are listed in chronological order of publication and updated regularly by the Research Committee of the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition. Comments or ideas for additional entries can be submitted to [email protected]

Books, Articles, Reports, Websites, and Dissertations

1930 – 1960

“Urban Adjustment of Migrants from the Southern Appalachian Plateaus,” Grace G. Leybourne. 1937. Social Forces 16 (2):238-246.

“The Southern White Laborer Migrates to Michigan,” Erdman Doane Beynon. 1938. American Sociological Review 3 (93): 333-343.

“The Effects of Southern White Workers on Race Relations in Northern Plants,” Lewis M. Killian. 1952. American Sociological Review, 17 (3): 327-330

Report of a Workshop on the Southern Mountaineer in Cincinnati, April 29, 1954. Roscoe Giffin. 1954. Mimeo. Cincinnati, Ohio: Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee.

“The Great Migration, 1940-1960,” James S. Brown, and George A. Hillary, Jr. 1962. pp. 54-78 in Thomas R. Ford, ed., The Southern Appalachian Region: A Survey. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press.


“The Unaccepted Baltimoreans: A Report on the White Southern Rural Migrants,” Mrs. Fred Kolodner. 1961. (Mimeo) Baltimore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Other America. Michael Harrington. 1962. Macmillan.

The South Goes North. Robert Coles. 1967. Little, Brown and Co.

“The Uptown Story,” Bill Montgomery. 1968. Mountain Life and Work, 44: 8-18.

Uptown: Poor Whites in Chicago. Todd Gitlin and Nanci Hollander. 1970. Evanston: Harper and Row.

White Southerners. Lewis Killian. 1970. University of Massachusetts Press.


Mountain Families in Transition: A Case Study of Appalachian Migration. Harry K. Schwarzweller, James S. Brown, and J.J. Mangalam. 1971. Pennsylvania State University Press.

The South Goes North. Vol. 3 of Children in Crisis. Robert Coles. 1971. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

Hard Living on Clay Street. Joseph Howell. 1973. Anchor Books.

The Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs. First Edition. Michael E. Maloney 1974. Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.


Appalachian Migrants in Urban America. William Philliber. 1981. Praeger.

The Invisible Minority. William Philliber & Clyde McCoy, eds. 1981. University Press of Kentucky.

“Urban Appalachians and Canadian Maritime Migrants: A Comparative Study of Emergent Ethnicity,” Martin N. Marger and Phillip J. Obermiller. 1983. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 24:229-243.

The Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs. Second Edition. Michael E. Maloney 1987. Cincinnati Human Relations Commission.

Too Few Tomorrows. Phillip Obermiller and William Philliber, eds. 1987. Appalachian Consortium Press.

“Health, Education, and Pollution in Lower Price Hill,” Pauletta Hansel, Katie Brown, 1990. A Report by the Lower Price Hill Task Force. Urban Appalachian Council.

“Country Comes to Town: A Survey of Appalachian Literature,” Danny Miller. 1990. Pages 35-38 in Now and Then: The Appalachian Magazine. Volume 8, Number 2.


From Mountain to Metropolis. Kathryn Borman and Phillip Obermiller, eds. 1994. Bergin and Garvey.

Down Home, Downtown: Urban Appalachians Today. Phillip Obermiller, ed. 1996. Kendall/Hunt.

“Early school leaving: An analysis across three generations of Appalachian women.” Patricia Timm. 1996. D. Ed. dissertation, University of Cincinnati.

“From Diversity to Unity: Uptown’s Southern Migrants, 1950-1970.” Roger S. Guy. 1996. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

Perceptions of Home: The Urban Appalachian Spirit. Malcom J. Wilson and Don Corathers. 1996. Urban Appalachian Council.

The Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs. Third Edition. Michael E. Maloney and Janet Bueloh. 1997. University of Cincinnati.

“Migration and Persistent Poverty in Rural America: A Case Study from Central America,” Brian Cushing. 1997. Research Paper 9732, Regional Research Institute, West Virginia University.

Mountain People in a Flat Land: A Popular History of Appalachian Migration to Northeast Ohio, 1940-1965. Carl Feather, 1998. Ohio University Press.

Practicing Community: Class Culture, and Power in an Urban Neighborhood. Rhoda Halperin. 1998. University of Texas Press.

Valuing Our Past, Creating Our Future: The Founding of the Urban Appalachian Council. Thomas Wagner and Phillip Obermiller. 1999. Berea College Press.

“Paving the Way: Urban Organizations and the Image of Appalachians,” Phillip Obermiller. Pages 251-266 in Billings, Norman, and Ledford, eds., Confronting

Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region. 1999. University Press of Kentucky.

Racial Situations: Class Predicaments of Whiteness in Detroit. John Hartigan, Jr. 1999. Princeton University Press.

Appalachian Odyssey: Historical Perspectives on the Great Migration. Phillip Obermiller, Thomas Wagner & Bruce Tucker, eds. 2000. Praeger.

Southern Migrants, Northern Exiles. Chad Berry. 2000. University of Illinois Press.


“Appalachian Migration Patterns, 1975-1980 and 1985-1990,” Phillip J. Obermiller and Steven R. Howe. Appalachian Regional Commission. 2001.

“Great Migrations: Race and Community in the Southern Exodus, 1917-1970.” J.Trent Alexander. 2001. Ph.D. Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University.

“’Write me’: A participatory action research project with urban Appalachian girls.” Tammy Schwartz. 2001. D. Ed. dissertation, University of Cincinnati.

“New Paths and Patterns of Appalachian Migration, 1975-1990,” Phillip J. Obermiller and Steven R. Howe. 2002. Pages 89-97 in Phillip J. Obermiller and

Michael E. Maloney, eds., Appalachia: Social Context Past and Present. Kendall Hunt.

Reading Lives: Working-Class Children and Literacy Learning. Deborah Hicks. 2002. New York: Teachers College Press.

“‘We ain’t agoin’ back’: A Retrospective Look at Urban Appalachians in Greater Cincinnati,” Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael E. Maloney. 2002. Pages 98-103 in Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael E. Maloney, eds., Appalachia: Social Context Past and Present. Kendall Hunt.

“Migration,” Phillip Obermiller. Pages 88 – 100 in Straw and Blethen, eds., High Mountains Rising: Appalachia in Time and Place. 2004. University of Illinois Press.

“Readin’, Writin’, and Route 21: The Road from West Virginia to Ohio,” David Giffels. Pages 142 -150 in Evans, Santelli, and George-Warren, eds., The Appalachians: America’s First and Last Frontier. 2004. Random House.

The Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs. Patterns for Four Census Decades. Fourth Edition. Michael Maloney and Christopher Auffrey. 2004. University of Cincinnati, School of Planning.

African American Miners and Migrants: The Eastern Kentucky Social Club. Thomas Wagner and Phillip Obermiller. 2004. University of Illinois Press.

“‘They’re never here more than a year’: Return Migration in the Southern Exodus, 1940-1970,” J. Trent Alexander. 2005. Pages 653-671 in volume 38 of the Journal of Social History.

“Urban Appalachian Experience.” Michael E. Maloney and Phillip J. Obermiller, eds. (a section of the Encyclopedia of Appalachia). 2006. University of Tennessee Press.

“Appalachians Outside the Region,” Phillip J. Obermiller, Michael E. Maloney and Pauletta Hansel. Pages 237-252 in Edwards, Asbury and Cox, eds., A Handbook to Appalachia. 2006. University of Tennessee Press.

“Defining the Diaspora: Appalachians in the Great Migration,” J. Trent Alexander.2006. Pages 219-247 in volume 37 of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History.

Celebrating, Honoring, and Valuing Rich Traditions: The History of the Ohio Appalachian Arts Program. Wayne Rapp. 2006. Lucky Press and the Ohio Arts Council.

“‘Sometimes It’s Hard to Figure’: The Functional Health Literacy of Appalachians in a Metropolitan Area,” Robert L. Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller, C. Jeff Jacobson Jr., Thomas Shaw, and Victoria E. Wells.  2006.  Pages 7-25 in Volume 12 of the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

“Moving Mountains: Appalachian Migration Patterns, 1995-2000,” by Phillip J. Obermiller and Steven R. Howe. 2007. In Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael E. Maloney, eds., Appalachia: Social Context Past and Present, 5th edition, Kendall/Hunt.

From Diversity to Unity: Southern and Appalachian Migrants in Uptown Chicago, 1950-1970. Roger Guy. 2007. Lexington Books.

“Culture care meanings, expressions, and lifeways of African American, Appalachian, and European American Appalachian mothers caring for their children in an urban homeless shelter.” Rebecca Crews Lee. 2008. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Cincinnati.

“Major Turning Points: Rethinking Appalachian Migration,” Phillip Obermiller, Chad Berry, et al., 2009. Pages 164 – 187 in volume 36 of the Appalachian Journal.

“Urban Appalachian Children and Youth – The Hidden Minority,” Debbie Zorn, 2010 at

“Identifying Appalachian Adults: An Empirical Study,” Robert L Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller, Eric W. Rademacher and Shiloh K. Turner. 2010. Pages 36-45 in volume 38 of the Appalachian Journal.

“Who is Appalachian? Self-Reported Appalachian Ancestry in the 2000 Census,” J. Trent Alexander and Chad Berry. 2010. Pages 46-54 in Volume 38 of the Appalachian Journal.


“The Uses and Misuses of Appalachian Culture,” Phillip J. Obermiller and Michael E. Maloney. 2011. at

“Community-Based Participatory Health Research in an Appalachian Neighborhood” M. Kathryn Brown. 2012. In Robert L. Ludke and Phillip J. Obermiller, eds., Appalachian Health and Well-Being. University Press of Kentucky.

“Identity Matters: Building an Appalachian Movement in Cincinnati,” Phillip J. Obermiller, M. Kathryn Brown, Donna Jones, Michael E. Maloney and Thomas E. Wagner. 2012. In Stephen L. Fisher and Barbara Ellen Smith, eds., Transforming Places: Lessons Learned from Appalachia. University of Illinois Press.

“Identifying Appalachians Outside the Region,” Robert L. Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller, Eric W. Rademacher, and Shiloh K. Turner. 2012. In Robert L. Ludke and Phillip J. Obermiller, eds., Appalachian Health and Well-Being. University Press of Kentucky.

“The Health Status and health Determinants of Urban Appalachian Adults and Children,” Robert L. Ludke, Phillip J. Obermiller and Ronnie D. Horner. 2012. In Robert L. Ludke and Phillip J. Obermiller, eds., Appalachian Health and Well-Being. University Press of Kentucky.

“The Social Areas of Cincinnati: An Analysis of Social Needs.” Fifth Edition. Michael Maloney and Christopher Auffrey. 2013. School of Planning, University of Cincinnati. at

“Fifty Years of Appalachian Advocacy: An Interview with Mike Maloney,” Thomas E. Wagner, Phillip J. Obermiller, Melinda B. Wagner. 2013. Pages 174-218 in Volume 40 of the Appalachian Journal.

“Civilians Came Second”: The Impact of World War II Defense Plants on African American and Appalachian Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.” Pamela C. Twiss and Phillip J. Obermiller. 2014. Pages 284-309 in Volume 41 of the Appalachian Journal.

“Recent Trends in Appalachian Migration, 2005-2009,” Robert L. Ludke and Phillip J. Obermiller. 2014. In Volume 20 of the Journal of Appalachian Studies.

Rhetorics of Remaining: The Production and Circulation of Cultural Rhetorics in Appalachian Civic Organizations, Jonathan L. Bradshaw, Link:

Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America, Beth Macy, 2018, Beth Macy, Little Brown.

The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission: A History, 1943 – 2013, Phillip J. Obermiller and Thomas F. Wagner, 2017, Ohio University Press

“Diverse Rhetorical Scenes of Urban Appalachian Literacies,” Katherine Trauth Taylor, 2015, in Rereading Appalachia: Literacy, Place, and Cultural Resistance Sara Webb Sunderhaus and Kim Donehower. University Press of Kentucky

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, Sam Quinones, 2013, Bloomsbury Press

“The Hillbilly Miracle and the Fall,” Michael E. Maloney, 2019, in Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy Anthony Harkins and Meredith McCarroll, eds. West Virginia University Press

Hill Women: Finding Family and a Way Forward in the Appalachian Mountains, Cassie Chambers, 2020, Ballantine Books.


The Appalachian Connection, a monthly newspaper published in Cincinnati by Media Associates in cooperation with the Urban Appalachian Council.

Mountain Life and Work published three special issues on Appalachian migrants: v.44, n. 8, September, 1968; v.52, n. 8, August, 1976.; v.64, n. 4, October-December, 1988.

Now and Then published a special issue on Urban Appalachia, v.8, n.2, Summer, 1990.

People’s Appalachia published a special issue on urban migrants, n.2, July, 1972.

Traveling Exhibits

Perceptions of Home, ____ Urban Appalachian Council.  For information call 513-631-5705. 

Lower Price Hill Youth, 2018, Fred Hoeweler.  For Information call 513.281-2933. 


Audio Tapes, Films, Videos, and DVDs

The Newcomers. 1963. George C. Stoney. Board of Missions of the Methodist Church.

The Southern Mountaineer: An Audio-Study of a People, a Place, and a Condition. 1963. WCKY Radio Public Affairs Project.

Long Journey Home. 1987. Elizabeth Barret. Appalshop.

Although Our Fields Were Streets. 1991. Peter Allison. P. Allison Productions.

Appalachians: The Silent Majority. 1996. Roy Flynn. Greater Dayton Public Television, Inc.

Mountain Shadow: Four Appalachian Artists. 1997. Jane Goetzman and Dorothy Weil. TV Image, Inc.

Keeping Community: East End Voices. 2000. Jane Goetzman and Dorothy Weil. TV Image, Inc.

The Will to Read: Estill Sizemore’s Story. 2000. Thomas Law. Voyager Media Group, Inc.

Neighborhood Images: Hopes, Dreams, Voices. 2001. Lower Price Hill Teen Video Project. Urban Appalachian Council.

The Faces of Environmental Injustice in Cincinnati. 2001. Sierra Club, UAC, CUFA. Sunshine Productions, H.C.

The Mountain Minor, 2018, Dale Farmeralt452WonderlandWoods.tvFrom the Heart Productions 

Urban Appalachian Literature

Richard Hague

Creative Nonfiction


Every River On Earth, 2015, Ohio University Press 

Pass/Fail, 2001, Red Sky Books 

Resurrecting Grace, 2001,Beacon Press


Earnest Occupations: Teaching, Writing, Gardening, & Other Local Work, 2018, Bottom Dog Press

Lives of the Poem: Community & Connection in a Writing Life, 2005, Wind Publishing

Milltown Natural: Essays and Stories From a Life, 1997,Bottom Dog Press
Fiction Books:

Learning How: Stories, Yarns, & Tales, 2011, Bottom Dog Press



Motif: Come What May, 2010, Motes Books 

O Taste And See: Food Poems, 2003, Bottom Dog Press 

Crossing Troublesome, 2002, Wind Publications 

Fresh Water: Poems From The Rivers, Lakes, And Streams, 2002, Pudding House Publications

I Have My Own Song For It: Modern Poems Of Ohio, 2002, University of Akron Press

2001: A Science Fiction Poetry Anthology, 2001, Anamnesis Press 

Earth Beneath, Sky Beyond, 2000, Outrider Press 

Coffeehouse Poetry Anthology, 1996, Bottom Dog Press 

Appalachia Inside Out, 1995, University of Tennessee Press 

Mill And Smoke Marrow, 1991, Bottom Dog Press 


Studied Days: Poems Early & Late in Appalachia, 2016, Dos Madres Press 

During The Recent Extinctions: New & Selected Poems 1984-2014, 2012, Dos Madres Press 

Public Hearings, 2009, Word Press 

Burst: Poems Quickly, 2004, Dos Madres Press 

The Time It Takes Light, 2004, Word Press 

Alive In Hard Country, 2003, Bottom Dog Press 

Garden, 2001, Word Press 

Possible Debris, 1988, Cleveland State University Poetry Center 

A Bestiary, 1986, Pudding House Publications

Ripening, 1984, Ohio State University Press 


Greatest Hits, 2001, Pudding House Publications 

Pauletta Hansel


Coal Town Photograph (Dos Madres Press, 2019)

Palindrome (Dos Madres Press, 2017) Winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award in Poetry

Tangle (Dos Madres Press, 2015)

The Lives We Live in Houses (Wind Publications 2011)

What I Did There: New and Selected Poems (Dos Madres Press 2011)

First Person (Dos Madres Press, 2007)

Divining  (WovenWord Press, 2002)

Individual Poems and Essays of Particular Urban Appalachian Interest

“My Father, J.D. Vance, and Me” Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review (Volume 46 Numbers 3-4 ● 2019)

“Home Is the Place Where, When You Have to Go There, You Only Think About How to Get Out”

“Harlan County, USA (2019)”

“Appalachians Outside the Region.” (co-author), A Handbook to Appalachia (University of Tennessee Press, 2006)

“Learning Through Stories: An Appalachian/African American Cultural Education Project.” Down Home, Down Town: Urban Appalachians Today, (Kendall/Hunt, 1996)

“In the Shadow of Industry: Lower Price Hill, Cincinnati, USA.” Environment and Development in the USA: A Grassroots Report for United Nation Committee on Environment and Development  (Highlander Center, 1992)


“Poet Pauletta Hansel Shares Her Book “Coal Town Photograph” In Breathitt County.” WEKU, March, 2019.

“Migrating Home: Richard Hague, Pauletta Hansel, and an Urban Appalachian Aesthetic.” (by Rhonda Petitt) Appalachian Journal: A Regional Studies Review (Volume 39, Nos. 3 & 4 Spring/Summer 2012)


Falcon Theater online performance of Coal Town Photograph:

Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Journal

#23: Appalachian Edge (October 2020) Pauletta Hansel, Sherry Cook Stanforth, and Dana Wildsmith editors

#22: Appalachia (Un)Broken (October 2019) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

#21: Appalachia Acting Up (2018) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

#20: Appalachia Stay or Go (2017) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

Quarried: Three Decades of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel (2015) Richard Hague, editor

#19: Appalachia Under Thirty (2016) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

#18: The Dead (2015) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

#17: Tricksters, Truthtellers and Lost Souls (2014) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

Volume #16: Apocalachia: Apocalypse in Appalachia (2013) Pauletta Hansel, Michael Henson and Sherry Cook Stanforth, editors

Volume #15: The Mountains Have Come Closer (2012) Pauletta Hansel and Michael Henson, editors

Volume #14: America (2011) Frankie Finley, Pauletta Hansel and Michael Henson, editors

Michael Henson

Books Published

Ransack, novel, West End press, 1980, 1986

A Small Room with Trouble on My Mind, novella and stories, West End Press, 1983, Bottom Dog Press, 2016

Crow Call, poems, West End Press, 2006

The Tao of Longing, poems, Dos Madres Press, 2005, 2010

Tommy Perdue, novella, MotesBooks, 2013

The True Story of the Resurrection, poems, Wind Publications, 2014

The Dead Singing, poems, Mongrel Empire Press, 2016

Maggie Boylan, stories, Brighthorse Books, 2015, Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2018

Plus stories, essays, articles, and reviews in several publications.

Dale Marie Prenatt

Plum Kill’t, 2019, MagCloud

Savannah Sipple

WWJD, and Other Poems, 2019, Sibling Rivalry Press

Sherry Cook Stanforth

Drone String, poems, 2015, Bottom Dog Press

Riparian: Poetry, Short Prose, and Photographs Inspired by the Ohio River, Sherry Cook Stanforth and Richard Hague, Eds., 2019, Dos Madres Press

Other Resources

Related entries can also be found in West Virginia University’s Appalachian Studies page, Appalachian Collection.

For those who would like to access many of the materials listed in this bibliography, the Frank Foster Memorial Library is located in the Education Matters complex at 2104 St Michael Street, Cincinnati, OH 45204 (call 513-244-2214 for hours).

A more extensive collection of migrant and urban Appalachian photographs, films, serials, correspondence, and primary materials can be found in the Special Collections and Archives of the Hutchins Library at Berea College in Berea KY.(859-985-3262). Of particular interest are:

Appalachian Advocate by the Urban Appalachian Council
Urban Appalachian Voice by the Urban Appalachian Council
Urban Appalachian Council (UAC) Records, 1930-1994

Last updated May 11, 2020