MATEWAN — Thomas Jude was recently named the new Museum and Communications Manager at the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum.
In the town of Matewan, the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum sits at the site of a historic battlefield which erupted in May of 1920, setting into movement a chain of occasions that promoted the biggest furnished armed uprising in the United States since the civil war.
“I am delighted to introduce myself as the new Museum and Communications Manager at the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum,” Jude said. “I am a proud native of Mingo County. I have spent the last nine years working as a music teacher and organizing events to bring people together and enrich our community. I saw firsthand the power of collective voice as a member of the American Federation of Teachers throughout the two West Virginia teacher and service personnel strikes in 2018 and 2019. I’m excited to now bring my skills and experience to the museum.”
Jude said preserving local history is important for future generations.
“The preservation and dissemination of this integral part of our history is essential to understanding our past and shaping our future,” Jude said. “My primary goals as the new manager will be to enhance our institution’s outreach efforts, create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, and foster a strong connection with our community. By working together, we can ensure that the legacy of the mine wars and the fight for labor justice remains alive and relevant for generations to come.”
The West Virginia Mine Wars Museum preserves and shares stories about the struggles of coal miners and their families for workers rights, civil rights and justice in the early 20th century. T
he museum celebrates the legacy of a multiracial, multilingual effort to unionize the coalfields as a people’s history museum. The museum makes connections between the Mine Wars and injustices that working people still face in Appalachia, the United States and the rest of world. The museum educates adults and youth, builds partnerships with the community, and helps the economy of the region grow.
HD Media reporter Heather Wolford covers new in Mingo County.