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Appalachian coal miners were composed of immigrants from Western Europe or their locally born decedents, and African Americans. Immigrants working in the coal mines were primarily Italians, Poles, Hungarians, and Slavs, though this varied from mine to mine. Many of these immigrants worked in the mines in order to send money home to there relatives or to save enough money to bring their relatives to the United States. African American miners were usually poor migrants from the South. These men often received the same pay as immigrant miners, though it was less than the pay of locally born miners. (Shifflett, 1991)

Williamson, West Virginia, 1935
Library of Congress Farm Security Administration Project/Ben Shahn