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West Virginia Archives and History Library

African American Life: A Personal Perspective
Block Speaker Series
August 27, 2015

On August 27, 2015, Richard H. Payne will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center in Charleston. The program, which is the second of the 2015 The Block Speakers Series, will begin at 6:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Payne graduated from Garnet High School in Charleston in 1954. He received further education from West Virginia State University, with graduate studies at West Virginia University, Indiana University of Bloomington, Indiana, and Marshall University. A lead equal opportunity specialist with more than 40 years of experience, Payne served as the principal on-site Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity civil rights official. Payne’s responsibility in cooperation with the director of the Pittsburgh Field Office was to enforce the Fair Housing Act and other civil rights laws to reduce the level of housing discrimination. His duties also included promoting economic opportunity by providing technical assistance and conducting monitoring reviews of public housing authorities, reducing the number of aged Title VIII, and ensuring proper use of fair housing funds.

Payne was instrumental in the establishment of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, the Charleston Human Rights Commission, the Huntington Human Rights Commission and the Monroeville, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. He is a life member and former president of the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, West Virginia NAACP youth advisor, and a co-founder and former president of UNION, a civil right organization consisting of 35 independent organizations under the umbrella of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference headed by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Payne is the father of four daughters, all of whom have achieved advanced academic degrees.

For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

West Virginia Archives and History Workshops/Lectures

West Virginia Archives and History