“We tell stories from the fault lines that separate Americans.”
October 17, 2015 3:03 PM   Subscribe

The Us and Them Podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting is dedicated to exploring America’s cultural divides. It was partly driven by host Trey Kay’s friendship with Alice Moore (episode one), a major player in the 1974 West Virginia Textbook War that tore up the state in Trey's high-school years. (Episode two, which won a Peabody when originally aired on Studio 360.)
Alice made a reappearance in the podcast during the recent prolonged defeat of the Confederate Flag (episode nine). She also got a brief mention in episode ten, in which American foreign correspondents of color Roopa Gogineni and Mike Onyiego visited Louisiana to report on the flag war.
posted by Going To Maine (9 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Interesting! Looks like it could fill the hole left when State of the Re:Union ended.
posted by Flannery Culp at 3:18 PM on October 17, 2015

As an aside, I note that I listened to these particular episodes in this order: ten, nine, one, two.

Ten was very good, and wanting more confederate flag stuff I went to nine. Nine led me to one, to learn more about Alice, and one led to two.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:44 PM on October 17, 2015

Interesting! Looks like it could fill the hole left when State of the Re:Union ended.

It won’t fill the SOTRU hole, but Al Letson has moved on to host the investigative news podcast Reveal.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:46 PM on October 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Reactionary Christian fundies respond to worldviews not mirroring their own with outrage, boycotts, calls for firing of dissenting authority figures and actual and potentially lethal violence?

Why does this all sound so... familiar...
posted by delfin at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Jesus Christ, I hadn't realized that within recent memory people were bombing schools over textbook choices. These wars always sleep closer to consciousness than we think.
posted by corb at 4:58 PM on October 17, 2015

I can't tell you how sick this makes me feel. I can't even read the wikipedia entry.

Wow. I was in kindergarten in that school system in 1974. As new arrivals from major urban areas, my parents must have been horrified, but they never mentioned this. In high school, I vaguely knew some "book burnings or something" happened and they were the reason teachers would state "I can't teach you evolution". But I thought it occurred before I was born and didn't know it was about multiculturalism or that there was violence. Suddenly some weird blanks in my education make more sense. I thought it was just poor teaching. Just from Corb & Delfin's comments, this is way bigger than I realized.

I think it's actually pretty brave of WV Public Radio to do the report in the current political climate. For more recent news of the same school system, remember a couple of years ago when a girl opted out of abstinence only sex education and her principal threatened to call her college and try to get her admission revoked? Which was, like, Smith or similar? Yeah, my high school.

Maybe I'll be able to brace myself for the actual FPP sometime soon.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 6:47 PM on October 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

As one who escaped W.Va. in the seventies, I think I can skip this without missing much that I didn't experience firsthand.
posted by Public Corruption? at 5:40 AM on October 18, 2015

I went to grade school in West Virginia in the 80s. One of the classes we had to take was West Virginia history. I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that these events weren't covered.
posted by dortmunder at 10:32 AM on October 18, 2015

Only listening to this one now, but Alice makes a brief appearance in episode three, which is about gay rights and culture in West Virginia. Her views are expectably retrograde and fixed, but they are hers. And there's quite a bit of other interesting stuff in the mix too.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:04 AM on October 18, 2015

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