West Virginia Literary Merit Award 2021

Dr. Cicero M. Fain, III was awarded the West Virginia Literary Merit award for an outstanding publication that contributes to West Virginia or Appalachian literature for his book, Black Huntington. Black Huntington is one of the few books that has investigated the black story in Huntington. There have been few studies on West Virginia’s black population and, sadly, this represents a gap in the capacity we have to tell the full narrative of West Virginia. Dr. Fain’s book helps fill that gap. Concentrating on the African-American experience in the early years of the city of Huntington, Dr. Fain paints a picture of a community struggling to find its identity and voice in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, but one which eventually develops institutions and social practices which enable it to overcome the inherent racism of the era. As both a significant work of regional and state history, Dr. Fain’s book also helps us to contextualize the African-American experience at the national level.