Kentucky writer and a University of Kentucky English professor Frank X Walker has been named to “The Oxford American: The Southern Magazine of Good Writing”‘s list of The Most Creative Teachers in the South.
“People have a monolithic stereotype of Appalachia that is more of a caricature,” Walker said in his interview with “Oxford American.” “They think of Boss Hogg or ‘The Beverly Hillbillies,’ when, in fact, there are vibrant black cultures in the likes of Birmingham and Pittsburgh … and great figures like Carter G. Woodson, creator of Black History Month, and playwright August Wilson. Somehow this is left out of the definition.”
Walker’s poetry and teaching practice is fueled by this common misidentification of racial diversity in Appalachia. In fact, he coined a term to correct this conception: “Affrilachia.” The word was added to Webster’s Dictionary in 1996.