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WV is More Than Just Mountains

By Staff | Jun 30, 2008

West Virginians have long been victims of stereotyping, and while that problem isn’t going to go away overnight, a large group of West Virginia bloggers recently did their part fighting this prejudice via an innovative group effort. On West Virginia Day (June 20), A Better West Virginia (www.abetterwestvirginia.com) spearheaded a movement that united WV bloggers to post with the purpose of creating new, positive stereotypes of our state. Thirty-five writers participated, and there are links to all of their entries at A Better West Virginia. Following are short excerpts from some of the participating blogs. From Empowering Perspectives (ywcacharleston.blogspot.com): “Just as West Virginians were among the righteous few who understood the moral repugnancy of slavery, we also reject the definition of our proud people as being, at best, socially backward and, at worst, racist at heart.” From The Folded Leaf (thefoldedleafyoga.blogspot.com): “Just as each person requires the proper balance of a healthy mind, body, and spirit, so too do populations. If the majority of any given group (such as the 67 percent of West Virginians who are overweight or obese) is suffering physically, odds are pretty good the society is suffering in general.” From Wabi-Sabi (jimmckay.blogspot.com): “Workers in [West Virginia] are known for their reliability. Although sadly their work ethic has too often been exploited by those who place profit above safety. Nonetheless, companies including Toyota have recognized the value that [West Virginia] workers bring to their corporate endeavors.” From Brian Peterson’s West Viginia Legal Weblog (legalweblog.blogspot.com): “We are a rural people who love our freedom. In the Eastern Panhandle, where I live now, throngs of Marylanders and Virginians have moved to West Virginia to escape the congestion and stress of big city life. They want to raise their children in safe, clean and peaceful communities surrounded by the natural beauty that only West Virginia can offer.” And that’s just a start. Log on to A Better West Viginia for the index of all participating blogs —there are some very cool posts that are well worth reading.

Bryan Stealey is the author of Reversing the Numbness (reversingthenumbness.blogspot.com). Contact Bryan at bstealey@graffitiwv.com.