Who's Involved

The Podcast
Dr.Enkeshi El-Amin
Co-Host
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Dr. El-Amin is a researcher, cultural worker & lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where she earned a PhD in sociology. Her work explores the link between race, place and Black practices in defining contesting & re-imaginig of place.

C. Lee Smith
Producer

With more than 20 years experience in public media & television production, Chris has written, edited, shot & produced programming for sports, news magazines, commercials & documentaries; PBS, FOX, ESPN, CBS, NBC and HGTV.

Angela Dennis
Co-Host
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An East Knoxville native, Angela Dennis is a journalist and literary activist. She is an Editor for Black with No Chaser, Program Director for the Shora Foundation & a member of the National Association of Black Journalists.

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James Baines
Audio Engineer

James Baines is from Chicago & a graduate of Columbia College's Audio Arts Program. Mr. Baines works as editor & engineer for the Black in Appalachia podcast. He & his family participated in the 'Great Reverse Migration' for a change of scenery and now call Knoxville home.

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Documentation , Research & Engagement
William Isom II
Director

William Isom is a East Tennessee native & the director of Black in Appalachia. He coordinates the project's research, community data base development, documentary film & photography production, oral history collection and educational events with residents.

Kathleen Kelley
Historian

Kathleen came to East Tennessee from Memphis. She received a Bachelor's in History at the University of Tennessee & has been working with Black in Appalachia to chronicle African American families from 1860 & 1870. She's also worked as a researcher & writer for the Kingsport Black history display project.

Holly Rainey
Photographer

Holly is a Knoxville-based documentary photographer, marketing & social media worker for a variety of local & regional businesses. She's a contributor to the 8th of August documentary project in Knoxville, Newport & Greeneville, Tennessee 

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Tanner Charles
Digital Collections

A native of Hawkins County, TN Tanner has BS from Carson-Newman University in Business Administration. He is currently working on a Masters of Business Administration from the same school & is contributing to the Black in Appalachia Project from his hometown of Rogersville.

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Alona Norwood
Researcher

A native of Elizabethton, Tennessee & graduate of Berea College, Alona  has been working with Black in Appalachia to research & document the history of Black schools in Carter County and Middlesboro, Kentucky. She's incredibly active in Northeast Tennessee and continues to act to make her region one that her and her peers can thrive in .

Jessica Tezak
Photographer

A professional photojournalist & farmer, Jessica originally hails from Joliet, Illinois, but now lives & works out of Knoxville. Her work with Black in Appalachia centers around documenting the events & communities in Southeastern Ohio.

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Misha Awad
Researcher & GIS

Misha is a cartographer & environmentalist from the Shenandoah Valley of WV. Since attaining her bachelor' degree from Vassar College, Misha has focused on education, community development, & Afro-Asian relations in China & Japan. Her current work for Black in Appalachia documents migrations of Black & POC communities through Appalachia & beyond.

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Jabari Guthrie
Photographer

Jabari is a documentary photographer that's taken his vision for street photography into the studio. Specializing in arts, entertainment and culture, Jabari has began contributing his talent to the Black in Appalachia project to document Eastern Kentucky communities.

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Devyn Kelly
GIS Specialist

From South Florida, but now a resident of Knoxville Devyn has immersed herself into the culture of Southern Appalachia. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, she has been working to document & build out the Bristol Black Businesses mapping project with the Black in Appalachia project.