Coal Miner: Frank Jackson (Film)

Coal Miner: Frank Jackson

  •  Ben Zickafoose
  •  1971
  • Color IconColor
  •  11:48
  •  16 mm film
Film Description
Frank Jackson went into the coal mines of southwestern Virginia when he was 15 years old. This early Appalshop film takes the viewer on a "lowboy" cart right into the entryway of a deep mine, conveying what it must have been like for him to work underground as daylight shrinks and disappears around the bend. Coal Miner: Frank Jackson juxtaposes Jackson’s personal recollections of union organizing and mining work with scenes of him in and around the mines for a simple yet telling document of the experiences of a working man.

Screenings & Festivals
  • University of Virginia

This film was preserved by Appalshop Archive with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation. To support the work of preserving and safeguarding the collections, please consider designating a donation to Appalshop Archive.


“After listening to him talk about his years in the mines, you’re not likely to forget the craggy face, mountain dialect, or simple decency of Frank Jackson.” — The Washington Post
“Jackson’s colloquial speech, laced with miners’ slang and regional vocabulary, describes articulately the difficult fight to unionize and the continuing problem of enforcing mine safety standards.” — Journal of American Folklore