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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Author of Harlan Renaissance to Speak on Campus

Dr. William H. Turner
Courtesy of Kentucky Commission on Human Rights
Dr. William H. Turner

Author and sociologist Dr. William H. Turner is expected to speak at Marshall University on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in acknowledgment of Black History Month in concurrence with the HLC Quality Initiative. 

Turner will speak on his book, “The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns.” His book embraces the heart of Kentucky as it explores coal mines and communities of Kentucky. In addition, his work was recognized as the winner of the 2023 Kentucky Historical Society Governor’s Award and the Weatherford Award for Non-Fiction.

Along with “The Harlan Renaissance,” Turner is the author of “Memoirs of a Farm Boy,” which uncovers his account of growing up in rural Virginia during the Great Depression.

Dr. Cicero Fain, assistant provost for inclusive excellence diversity, equity, and inclusion fellow, explains how Turner’s experience has impacted the lives of many Black Appalachians. 

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“Bill Turner’s intellectual brilliance is clear,” Fain said in a news release. “In the last 50 years, this native son of Lynch, Kentucky, has done more to research, chronicle and elevate the lives, stories and diverse experiences of Black Appalachians than anyone. Yet, it is his generosity of spirit that makes him truly special.”

The presentation will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31, in the Drinko Library Atrium, located on the third floor. 

The event is sponsored by the Center for Economic & Community Development in Black Appalachia and Isolated Communities, the Carter G. Woodson Lyceum, the John Deaver Drinko Academy and Academic Affairs.

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