Speaker's Bureau

Stories From Our Mountain Heritage

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An entertaining storyteller, Dr. Williams portrays the characters from folk tales collected from Appalachian migrants in Cincinnati, Ohio. He highlights the migrants’ deep-seated sense of place as he recreates characters in Appalachian dialect. Especially moving is his version of Cinderella as a poor girl living up a hollar in the Kentucky mountains whose painted fingernails are her glass slipper. He weaves tales of real life moonshiners venting the smoke out the chimney of a tenement house, saloon keepers robbed so many times they put up a sign for the robbers to take what they want, and farmers whose dogs became notorious snake killers. Similar to the stories of mill workers in South Carolina, these tales reflect the problems created by cultural conflict in Appalachian Kentucky and Cincinnati.

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