Barbara Angle, 1947-2011
Barbara Angle was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Maryland and the grand-daughter of a coal miner. Barbara was a 1965 graduate of St. Peters High School of Westernport, Md. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in history and journalism. She worked as an editor at the Bureau of National Affairs in Washington, D.C., until her return home in 1973.
In 1975, she was employed as one of three women coal miners employed at the Laurel Run Mine at Mount Storm, West Virginia. In 1978 an underground coal mining accident crushed her right arm.
Barbara had worked as a general laborer, longwall chock-setter, and shuttle-car operator.
Angle noted that there were three women and 300 men in the coal mine where she worked. Discrimination from employers and sexual harassment from coworkers was all too common. Angle notes that the miners used to "joke" and say, "Hey, just set up a cot at the pit mouth and you’ll make more each shift than if you mine." And even though the miners’ wives eventually understood the women miners worked solely to support their families, there was initial suspicion on their part as well.
Angle relocated back to the area where she has written several historical coal-mining novels (Rinker, 1979 and Those That Mattered, 1994) and articles on sexual harassment in the coal mining industry.
...From: New York Times Book Review of Those That Mattered, by Andy Solomon, January 22, 1995 and “In the Struggle for Women’s Equality – Women’s Bittersweet Victory in the Coal Mines” by Barbara Jean Hope, People’s Weekly World, March 23, 1996.
Text - Albert Feldstein
Photograph from Barbara's obituary in the Cumberland Times News, June 6, 2011
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.
Allegany County, (Md.)