Pike County, Ohio – As Black as We Wish to Be

Pike County, Ohio – As Black as We Wish to Be

Public Radio Exchange
State of the Re:Union

Length: 00:53:53

Al Letson, Producer/Host

Lu Olkowski, Reporter

In this episode Al Letson and guest producer Lu Olkowski visit a tiny town [East Jackson/Waverly] in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio where, for a century, residents have shared the common bond of identifying as African-American despite the fact that they look white. Racial lines have been blurred to invisibility, and people inside the same family can vehemently disagree about whether they are black or white. It can be tense and confusing. As a result, everyone’s choosing: Am I black? Am I mixed race? Or, am I white? Adding to the confusion, there’s a movement afoot to recognize their Native-American heritage.

Family portraits on the mantle in Judy Tanner’s living room. Photo Credit: Lu Olkowski

Listen to the episode here. For more information, click here. View photographs from Pike County, Ohio here.

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