Divide: A Closer Look

The Race Card

Reporter Scott Finn and Reverend Matthew Watts analyze why some voters in West Virginia expressed fear of an African American President in 2008.

Another cost of Jim Crow

Community organizer and congressional candidate Sue Thorn and Reverend Matthew Watts discuss another cost of Jim Crow laws and why building coalitions among people without political power is so important.


Various news outlets produced stories on Appalachian voters during the primaries in 2008. The coverage was often reductive and inflammatory.

Hillbilly Stereotypes

This clip includes particularly incendiary and offensive portrayals of Appalachian voters in 2008.

Southern West Virginia Obama Voters

We went to a high school football game in Iaeger, West Virginia, in October of 2008 to see how people planned to vote. Contrary to many news reports, we found several strident Obama supporters.

The History of Racial and Ethnic Diversity in McDowell County, WVa

Labor Historian Ron Lewis, State Delegate Cliff Moore and Reverend Jerome Powell discuss the history of McDowell County and coal mining in the area. This video explores the reasons why at the turn of the century there were large groups of immigrants and southern African Americans in McDowell County in addition to the native population.

Daily Show on U.S. class apartheid

After Warren Buffett’s New York Times Op-ed called for a tax on the mega-rich, the news cycle kicked into overdrive, with one cable news channel noticeably distressed with the article. Fox News declared it class warfare and one broadcaster asked if Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and of the richest men on the planet, […]

Low-Income and Minority Voters Ignored

On 9/21, Project Vote released a new poll of 2008 voters and their opinions on government and public spending, “What Happened To Hope & Change?” Not surprising, voters are most concerned about the economy; more than one in three black voters and low-income voters reported not having enough money to buy food for their families […]

Divide Trailer

In the midst of a divisive election, retired miner Sebert Pertee confronts an obscured legacy of racial politics in the Appalachian coal fields. Will his organizing efforts be enough to counter a slew of race-baiting pundits and politicians? Will anything change two years later? Stay tuned as we update the website with more videos, photos […]