ENERGY GENERATOR:
HARLAN COUNTY, U.S.A.

By Jeanne Belovitch


Written in 1980


I wrote the following article after two trips to Harlan, Kentucky. The first trip was made during the summer of 1979; the second trip during the winter of 1980. Considering what the United States of America faces today in the year 2005 and on: the threat of terrorism after 9/11; the unrelenting Iraq War; an oil crisis; and the dirty laundry that Hurricane Katrina laid out for the world to see, this story about the history of hillbillies, values, and the high cost of energy from the coal fields of Kentucky raises several issues that this country now faces on an international level. Are there any answers for us from the history of coal mining and its unionization in “Bloody” Harlan.