WVSU Black History Month Convocation to Feature Author Dr. William H. Turner

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
January 30, 2023
WVSU Black History Month Convocation to Feature Author Dr. William H. Turner

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – Noted author and academic leader Dr. William H. Turner will be the featured speaker at West Virginia State University’s (WVSU) Black History Month Convocation on Tuesday, Feb.7, 2023, beginning at 11 a.m. in the P. Ahmed Williams Auditorium in Ferrell Hall. 

Born in the coal town of Lynch, Kentucky, Turner is the fifth of 10 children. Much of his family were coal miners, including his father, grandfathers, four uncles, and older brother. During his career, Turner has studied and worked on behalf of marginalized communities, helping them create opportunities in the larger world while not abandoning their important cultural ties. He has studied economic systems and social structures in the urban south and burgeoning Latino communities in the Southwest. Through his research and work, Turner strives for prosperity, understanding and respect of those communities. 

Turner is the author of “The Harlan Renaissance: A Memoir of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns,” which tells the story of Black life in coal company towns in eastern Kentucky. He co-edited the textbook “Black in Appalachia” and thematic essays on Black Appalachians in the “Encyclopedia of Southern Culture,” and the “Encyclopedia of Appalachia.” 

He is a former Dean of Arts and Sciences and Interim President at Kentucky State University; former Vice President for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kentucky; and was a Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Studies and Regional Ambassador at Berea College.

Turner earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Kentucky, a master’s degree insociology from Notre Dame University, a doctorate degree in sociology and anthropology from Notre Dame University, and post-doctoral degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University. 

Turner and his wife, Vivian, live in Houston near their children and grandchildren.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land-grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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