A review of
The Logan Topographies
by Alena Hairston
One reality of the United States is that in many regions the appellation Bottom identifies an historically African American community. Across the generations this term has had political and psychological, as well as geographic, significance; African Americans, historically segregated to the low end of social and economic opportunity, have lived in the “Bottom.” In titling the last section of The Logan Topographies “The Bottom,” Alena Hairston crystallizes the fecund interconnections of history, genealogy, geography, subsistence, and worldview that define the community of Logan, West Virginia. These interconnections outstrip any one community and move across several generations, making Logan, in this work, a refreshingly full version of the American working-class town.
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