Neema Avashia describes 'Another Appalachia'

Neema Avashia was born and raised in the bedroom suburban community of Cross Lanes, West Virginia. She’s an Appalachian through and through. She can sing Take Me Home Country Roads by heart. She knows the state’s mountains and waterways by heart. In her new collection of essays, “Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place,” she describes feeling more hillbilly than hindu.
She wrestles with big questions about identity in her book. Could she really call herself Appalachian if her family didn’t go back several generations like her neighbors? What are the ways in which the ethics of community and kinship interact with an ethics of survival and assimilation? What does it mean to grow up in a business environment like chemicals or coal that extracts so much from its places and people? And what does it mean to see the people you love posting vile, hateful things about immigrants and people of color on Facebook? 
Neema now lives in Boston as a teacher and advocate for her students and school. 
On this episode of the Reckon Interview, she describes her Appalachian upbringing and how it feels to love and support a place from afar – even on days when it doesn’t feel like it gives you the love you deserve in return.
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