This essay juxtaposes works about East Kentucky coal communities by Elmore Leonard and bell hooks to consider what “coal identity politics” might be in the Anthropocene. The election of Donald Trump enabled new performances of white supremacy, in part through his appeal to coal nostalgia. At the same time, his environmental policies pose a threat to that little progress achieved by the Paris Accord. This entanglement demands a more nuanced approach to the affective dimensions of nostalgia from scholars of the Anthropocene. This essay explores the consequences of the nostalgia evoked in representations of coal mining communities.