Hidden History: Coal Mining in NEPA

(WBRE/WYOU)  Tracing roots - the journey takes many local families through Northeastern Pennsylvania's coal mines.   Now there is  new effort to make sure the African American experience is not stripped from those mines.
       Eyewitness News Reporter Crystal Cramore has more.
 

The anthracite region of Pennsylvania is known for *fueling* the industrial revolution.
   But deep within the the rich coal mining history in this area - a few nuggets of untold history.

 
"Most artists work with paint, with clay or stone..or drawing, but Mr. Patience worked in the anthracite coal." Said Chester Kulesa, a Volunteer at the Anthracite Heritage Museum

 
"Many of C. Edgar Patience work like this sculpture of George Washingtonian is featured here at the Anthracite Heritage Museum.

    Many of the African American sculptor's pieces are part of the museum's exhibit on ethnicity and immigration in the coal mining industry of northeastern Pennsylvania.
    Patience became famous around the world for his work, which included jewelry and other artifacts.


    "Coalville" which tells a story of mining in this area is said to be Patience's *only* unfinished work of art.

 
"Shows the coal breaker, coal processing  plant. It also shows a service mining machine, which dug coal from the ground" Noted Kulesa
    
    For Christine Patterson though - the work of C. Edgar Patience only scratches the surface of the black coal mining experience in the Wyoming Valley.

 
"Most of the anthracite historians have not written about African Americans in coal mining" Added Christine Patterson, Edgar's Niece

    So Patterson, the daughter of a black coal miner *and* Edgar's niece, set out to unlock some history of her own.
    She's writing a book called  "African American Coal Miners in Northeastern Pennsylvania: A Personal perspective"
 
"And not just my family all of the black families that come from the Wyoming Valley or settled here"
    

You can see more on this story and many more on Hidden History during an hour long special 
That can be seen on Saturday, February 25th at 7:00 pm on WYOU and on Sunday, February 26th at 11:00 am on  WBRE.
 
 


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