New book on Highlander co-founder

colist at colist at
Sun Mar 21 12:01:35 CST 2004

[ed:  many of us know of Myles Horton, but not of the Highlander co-
founder Don West.  Now there is a book so we can learn more.]

From:           	"George Brosi" <George_Brosi at>

A new book has just been released about a pioneer community
organizer, Don West (1906-1992).  A native of Gilmer County, in
the North Georgia mountains, West graduated from Lincoln Memorial
University with fellow literary luminaries James Still and Jesse
Stuart in 1929.  As a student at Vanderbilt he got involved in
the Wilder, Tennessee, coal strike and, in 1932,co-founded, with
Myles Horton, the Highlander Folk School which became famous as a
fountainhead for labor and civil rights activism.  After Myles
and Don split, Don organized a defense committee for Angela
Herndon, a Black communist activist in Atlanta, worked with
textile workers in North Carolina, organized coal miners and the
unemployed in Kentucky, and was active in numerous other
struggles throughout the South.  In the 1960s he founded the
Appalachian South Folklife Center in Pipestem,West Virginia, and
remained there essentially for the rest of his life.  This book
is a Don West reader, allowing Don to speak for himself.  It
includes both his poetry and his prose.  Of special interest is
his historical and biographical work on Southern activists of
previous eras.  The book is co-edited by Jeff Biggers, who worked
with Don in West Virginia and George Brosi, who enjoyed a
thirty-year frendship with Don.  Brosi is a former organizer for
Students for a Democratic Society, Save Our Cumberland Mountains
and other groups and the founder of Vocations for Social Change. 
Go to:
Thanks so much!
George Brosi
Editor, Appalachian Heritage
CPO 2166
Berea, KY 40404
(859) 985-3699
Please visit our web site at

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