Diane Sawyer travelled back home on Friday night to the central Appalachian mountains. ABCâ€™s 20/20 aired her primetime documentary titled: â€œA Hidden America: Children of the Mountainâ€?. Read more, photos and videos below.
As a young reporter in Louisville, Kentucky, Diane Sawyer often reported on the struggles of the poor coal mining community that resides in the central Appalachian Mountains. Last night on 20/20 Sawyerâ€™s documentary brought back to light the current plight of these Americanâ€™s that are often forgotten. From the NYDaily News:
“I think sometimes we can’t imagine our ways into their lives,” Sawyer says. “We can read the numbers and statistics, but you don’t know what it means when you get up in the morning and sleep in a truck, and are the king of football in Appalachia.”
Sawyer has that story, about a young football player who keeps his toothbrush in the glove box of his truck. She also has the story of a young girl whose mother is in a battle with drugs, and the story of a young man who, when his girlfriend gets pregnant, goes to work in the local coal mine.
The Appalachian Mountains span from Mississippi all the way up into Canada. With the region of Appalachia being that which goes from Mississippi up into New York; within this mountain range lies a vast supply of Americaâ€™s wealth, coal and the people who have worked in a dangerous industry to give us that resource.
Sawyer says she feels especially close to the people of Appalachia, because she grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. She has been doing a series of documentaries over the last couple years to highlight poverty in America.
This region is in the news today as well because of the decision handed down by the 4th circuit court of appeals, which allows the Army Core of Engineers to issue Clean Water Act permits for mountaintop removal coal mines without more thorough reviews.
More photos and a video of Sawyer are below.
Faces of Appalachia Video