Former Kentucky State University interim president released new book; The Harlan Renaissance
A former Kentucky State University interim president and director of the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities recently published a new book about Black life in Harlan County, Kentucky.
Dr. William H. Turner’s new book, The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns, is available now through West Virginia University (WVU) Press.
According to the WVU Press summary, “Turner reconstructs Black life in the company towns in and around Harlan County during coal’s final postwar boom years, which built toward an enduring bust as the children of Black miners, like the author, left the region in search of better opportunities.”
Turner served as interim president from 2002 to 2004 and as a distinguished visiting scholar for the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities (CREED). Turner recently came back to the Hill and served as interim director of CREED.
According to his website, Turner “is best-known for his ground-breaking research on African-American communities in Appalachia. As an academic and a consultant, he has studied economic systems and social structures in the urban South and burgeoning Latino communities in the Southwest.”
Born in Harlan County, Kentucky, Turner’s knowledge of the region was praised by “Roots” author Alex Haley, who said Turner knows more about Black people in the mountains of the South than anyone in the world. Turner served as a research associate to Haley from 1979-1991.
Turner earned a bachelor’s in sociology at the University of Kentucky; a master’s in sociology at the University of Notre Dame; a Ph.D. in sociology and anthropology at Notre Dame and post-doctoral work at University of Pennsylvania and Duke University.
Click here to read the full summary of The Harlan Renaissance or purchase the book.