The Old Plantation | Credit: Library of Congress

What You Don’t Know (But Should) About Appalachian Slavery

Antebellum slavery is most often associated with the Deep South: sprawling Mississippi cotton fields, Alabama sugar plantations, and Georgia estates straight from Gone with the Wind. But Central Appalachia had a thriving slave trade, as well. You probably don’t know (but should) that nearly every Appalachian county had a slave auction block at their local courthouse or within its market district. You probably don’t know (but should) that slavery was primarily industrial in nature, creating what are now described as “Iron Plantations.” And you probably don’t know (but should) that some of Appalachia’s first slave owners were actually Cherokee.

These topics, and others, are the subject of our third discussion. The distinguished panel includes “Affrilachian” poet and author, Frank X. Walker; author and historian, Anne G’Fellers Mason, Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee & Southwest Virginia; West Virginia storyteller and humanities scholar, Ilene Evans of Voices of the Earth; and Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee from the East Tennessee State University Department of History.




Frank X Walker, MFA
A native of Danville, Kentucky, Frank X Walker is the first African American writer to be named Kentucky Poet Laureate. Walker has published ten collections of poetry, including Turn Me...


Dr. Dinah Mayo-Bobee, PhD
Dinah Mayo-Bobee is an Associate Professor of History at East Tennessee State University. She began developing and teaching college-level courses in 2002 and earned a Ph.D. in History at the...


Anne G’Fellers-Mason
Anne G’Fellers-Mason is the Executive Director of the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. She has worked for the nonprofit for over ten years. Anne has a Bachelor...


Ilene Evans, MA
Ilene Evans is an inspired storyteller, performer and scholar who weaves music, poetry, dance and drama, to bring history alive. Ms. Evans creates and presents storytelling/theater programs and workshops/seminars that...

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