The Southern Historical Collection (SHC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is honored to unveil the exhibit Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia. Using never-before ­exhibited material, the exhibit tells the story of what “home” has meant to a generation of African Americans who grew up in coal mining communities in the Appalachian region of
eastern Kentucky. The exhibit is based on the SHC’s inaugural participatory archive, the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project (EKAAMP). Gone Home celebrates a little ­known slice of Americana and the communities of coal­ mining sons and daughters, researchers, and scholars that came together to make the EKAAMP archive possible. What gives “home” its meaning? This question drives many of the displays in Gone Home. Using photography, excerpts from oral history interviews, and many artifacts ranging from coal mining and garden tools to sports jackets and diplomas, Gone Home explores the textures of what home meant from the inside out, the memories of the Lynch Colored School, and what leaving this community felt like for the new generation.  The exhibit focuses on remembering a community forgotten in American History, but Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia also brings to light the ties people continue to hold to their hometowns and to each other today

Check out our galleries from The Gone Home Event and Exhibit:


Curious to hear the oral histories behind the exhibit? Listen to the Audio clips of oral histories.