Skip to content
Grist home
All donations TRIPLED

Articles by Ashley Judd

Ashley Judd is an actress, activist, and eastern Kentucky native.

Featured Article

Ashley Judd speaking about mountaintop removal at the National Press Club.

Cross-posted from onearth.

I love and am proud of being a hillbilly. I trace my family in the mountains of eastern Kentucky back at least eight generations. There is no better home than Kentucky. But the land I love and the way of life there that I so cherish are endangered.

There is a searing tear, a gaping wound in the fabric of my life and in the lives of all Appalachians. And it gets bigger every day with every Appalachian mountaintop that is blown up, every holler that is filled, every stream that is buried, every wild thing that is wantonly and recklessly killed, every ecosystem that is diminished, every job that is lost to mechanization, every family that is pitted one against the other by the state-sanctioned, federal government supported coal industry operated rape of Appalachia. I’m talking about mountaintop removal coal mining.

The Appalachian Mountains are the oldest in North America; they may well be the oldest mountains in the entire world. Peaks and ridges so ancient that geologists call them — rather poetically, I think — “deep time.̶... Read more