All photos taken in this photo gallery are by Blake Tommey.
Poverty is not part of your culture, character or identity. It’s simply a reality from which most human beings are only one catastrophe away. The challenges of life in southeast Kentucky merely augment the effects of the natural misfortunes we all face. And a person’s misfortune, whether caused by medical bills, a violent partner or a learning disability, should give us no fodder for stereotypes and discriminatory images of despair, or even of “poverty.”
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This series in the “Resilient Rural America” project is part of the BNG Storytelling Projects Initiative. Has the United States forgotten its countryside? What strength and resilience may yet be stirring outside our city limits? In “Resilient Rural America,” we attempt to answer these questions when we visit these unique communities to examine the singular nature of poverty in rural America and tell the stories of development among its courageous and resilient people.
Seed money to launch our Storytelling Projects initiative and our initial series of projects has been provided through generous grants from the Christ Is Our Salvation Foundation and the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation. For information about underwriting opportunities for Storytelling Projects, contact David Wilkinson, BNG’s executive director and publisher, at [email protected] or 336.865.2688.