Little Hall, Hamilton, NY 13346, USA

View map Add to calendar

William (Bill) H. Turner has focused his career on people of color in the Appalachian Region. Among the first to combine interests in the fields of African American and Appalachian Studies, Turner has published extensively in national newspapers, refereed academic journals, and books on the black experience in Appalachia.

Bill, the fifth of ten children, was born in 1946 in Lynch – Harlan County, Kentucky, Both grandfathers, father, four uncles and his older brother were coal miners in Southwest Virginia, Southern West Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky. His mother was born in Harlan County in 1924, his father William Earl, in Coeburn – Wise County -- Virginia in 1917. Bill was awarded his bachelor’s degree from Kentucky (1968) and the doctorate in sociology and anthropology at Notre Dame (1975). Among the honors Turner has received: in 1994 the Christian Appalachian Project named him its “Person of the Year,” and Notre Dame University named him a “Distinguished Alumni Exemplar” in 2006. In 2007, he was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame, and, in 2008, he was recognized as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Citizen of the Year, for “advocating for the rights and expanded educational opportunities for people in Appalachian Kentucky.” In 2009, the Appalachian Studies Association (ASA) honored Bill for a lifetime of service to the Appalachian region. In 2020, Turner was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the University of North Carolina-Asheville for “unparalleled service to the Appalachian Region.” The College of Arts and Sciences of the University of Kentucky inducted Bill into its Hall of Fame in 2021. The Distinguished 400 Award was conferred on Bill on the 8th of August, 2022 by the 400 Years (1619-2019) of African American History Commission, a program of the US Department of Interior and the National Park Service.

The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns, the title of Turner’s latest book (2021) is described as “A warm and insightful memoir of Black life in Appalachia’s coal camps that offers a bounty of correctives to the persistent myth that all mountain people are white, and all poverty is self-made.” The book won the 2021 Award for Book of the Year, conferred by the Appalachian Studies Association and Berea College. Turner’s book was selected in May 2023 as “the most significant book on Kentucky history in the past five years” by the Kentucky Historical Society.

This event is co-sponsored by The Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education, the ALANA Cultural Center, ALST Department, the Office of Student Involvement, and the Harlem Renaissance Center.

Event Details

0 people are interested in this event

User Activity

No recent activity

Colgate Calendar Powered by the Localist Community Event Platform © All rights reserved