African Americans in Appalachia
Appalachian regional map. (Courtesy of the author.)
The region, so named for the mountain range that runs through it from northeast Mississippi to southern New York, historically comprises three subdivisions—Northern, Southern, and Central—each with its own history of settlement and race relations. As the first major mountain range west of the Atlantic coast, the Appalachian Mountains were the first "frontier." By the mid-1600s, explorers were trekking into the mountains and within fifty years, settlements had been permanently established by whites from England, Ireland, and Scotland.