West Virginia used to run on coal. Now the communities that flourished around the mines have been left to fend for themselves. In this four-part documentary series, former miners, union members, environmentalists, and students work to bring their beloved home state into the 21st century.
Directed by Addison Post
Produced in collaboration with Topic.com
EP 101 Billy Jack Buzzard
Just like his forefathers, Billy Jack went to work in the mines of West Virginia. But after he was laid off, he realized he needed to find a way to “get paid from the neck up.”
EP 102 Trapped Energy
The closure of West Virginia’s coal mines is more than just an economic shift. For a state built on extractive industries, it’s an identity crisis.
EP 103 Left Behind
Members of the United Mine Workers devoted their lives to working in coal. Now faced with the prospect of losing their pensions, they’re calling on their country to pay them what they’re owed.
EP 104 Class of ‘18
The young people of West Virginia are clear-eyed about what will help their state move forward—and it’s not more mines.