The following is a partial list of resources that are informing the research, development and production of Good Old Boys.
Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. One man’s memoir of talking trash about his working class family without acknowledging any of the systemic realities of extractive economies or how his whiteness allowed him access to spaces he otherwise never would have seen. Dangerous whitewashed storytelling. Don’t buy this book, this multi-millionaire doesn’t need your money.
In Their Words: Growing Up in Segregated Staunton and Augusta County, Virginia by Laten Ervin Bechtel. Oral history anthology from African Americans that grew up in a segregated Augusta County, Virginia.
The Men We Long to Be: Beyond Lonely Warriors and Desperate Lovers by Stephen Boyd. What is the role of christianity and faith in shaping masculinity? How can compassion and living a christ-like life lead us into re-defining what it means to be a man?
The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind edited by Claudia Rankine. Essays, poems, photos and letters reflecting on how race influences the contemporary construction of identity.
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild. A liberal Californian sociologist studies rural and working class communities in the deep south the way that Jane Goodall studied chimpanzees. There is some helpful framing in this book about the psychology and tension in working class communities that values authority and big corporations over environmental justice.
Trampoline by Robert Gipe. Ashley’s favorite! Read this one first! It’s fiction and fantastic. A coming of age story about a young girl in eastern rural KY. This is brilliant and should be required reading for anyone interested in Appalachia.
White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg. Dense and dry history text that lays out the evolution of working class white folks going back to the first immigrants and indentured servants sent to the U.S.
Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk about Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk. This is a great introductory text to grounding in the history of the construction of witness and includes conversation guides for having difficult conversations.
Listen to the Spotify Playlist of songs that inspire the project.
The Highlander Research and Education Center serves as a catalyst for grassroots organizing and movement building in Appalachia and the South. We work with people fighting for justice, equality and sustainability, supporting their efforts to take collective action to shape their own destiny.
Redneck Revolt: Putting the RED back in Redneck is a national network of community defense projects from a broad spread of political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. It is a pro-worker, anti-racist organization that focuses on working class liberation from the oppressive systems which dominate our lives.
Showing Up for Racial Justice believes in collective liberation -- and that none of us can be free until we end white supremacy.