Dr. William H. Turner to speak at SCC in celebration of Black History Month
Published on Feb 2, 2024
A scholar, researcher, and author of the book, “The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns,” Dr. William H. Turner, returns to the campus of Somerset Community College (SCC) to share his expertise about the coal town, Lynch, Kentucky, in Harlan County where he was born.
SCC is honored to provide this culturally rich learning opportunity to our campus for the educational benefit of students, staff, faculty and our community on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 1:00 p.m. to hear Dr. Turner and have an opportunity to purchase his book.
Turner comes from multiple generations of coal miners. His grandfathers, father, four uncles, and an older brother all were coal miners. Dr. Turner was blessed to have been educated in a superior school in Lynch. Following his secondary educational pursuits, he was educated in the local Community College, followed by earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky, involved in a foreign affairs scholar’s program at Howard University, then earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the Notre Dame University; then completed Post-Doctoral Work at the University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.
Dr. Turner’s presentation title will be “Blues in the midst of Bluegrass on Black Mountain.” Due to his years growing up in the mountains and his long family lineage of Appalachians, his understanding of the culture is outstanding. Additionally, the years dedicated to higher education morphed into his love of the mountains, resulting in his research for his book.
Turner’s success in higher education speaks boldly of his passion for expanding higher education.
Dr. Turner chaired the Department of Social Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. He served as Dean of Arts and Sciences, Interim President for Kentucky State University, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs for the University of Kentucky, Distinguished Professor of Appalachian Students, and Regional Ambassador at Berea College. Dr. Turner was a Research Scientist Leader at the Prairie View A&M University College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, where he led the collection and analysis of data on underserved Texans, the economically insecure and long-term impoverished.
Turner’s book has been named the 2023 Kentucky Historical Society Governor’s Award winner and won the 2021 Weatherford Award for Non-Fiction. Dr. Turner was a 2021 Inductee to the College of Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame at the University of Kentucky. Other awards include a 2009 honor for a lifetime of service to the Appalachian Region by the Appalachian Studies Association.
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.” Dr. Turner has been inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame. He was honored as the Christian Appalachian Project “Person of the Year” in 1994.
We hope you can join us on Tuesday as we learn from an insightful session with Dr. Turner.