“It has been a 20-year fight to finally get Blair Mountain on the National Register of Historic Places last week. We have been to permit meetings for years and many of our friends and neighbors were mad about us trying to protect this mountain from mining. Many didn’t want the story of Blair told and they wanted the history forgotten. You can burn communities and houses to the ground and they will be rebuilt, but if you destroy the history, accomplishments, and culture, it was like it never happened. It is time to take pride in our past.
The miners fighting for their rights and better working conditions from the coal companies wore a red bandana on their march to Blair Mountain to identify who was on their side. I give one out to everyone who comes to this museum. I am passionate about civil rights. How can people be treated less than someone else for the color of their skin or where they are from? I learned the history and It blew my mind that in the 1920’s all of these people could come together from all languages and colors and fight for what is right. There is an important lesson for us today. As divided as we are, we still have the same wants and needs, we just complicate it with bullshit. We let things distract us and make us feel like aliens. I love the stories of immigrants. They were just workers trying to have a better life. We can still unite together and make a difference. We are all immigrants and aliens.”