May 7, 20120
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Dr. Cicero M. Fain will present “Into the Crucible: The Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and the Black Industrial Worker in Southern West Virginia, 1870-1900” on Thursday, May 17, in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The 6 p.m. program is free and open to the public.
Fain will discuss the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Railroad, which brought rail transportation to south-central West Virginia in the post-Civil War era. The C&O led to the founding of Huntington as the railroad’s western terminus in 1870 and was instrumental in bringing development to the southern coalfields. He will relate the contributions of black labor to the C&O’s construction, the rise of Huntington as an urban industrial center, and the linkage of the New River Valley and Huntington to the regional and national economy.
A third-generation black Huntingtonian, Fain is a recipient of the Carter G. Woodson Fellowship from Marshall University and a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he received his Ph.D. in history, with an emphasis on African American, American, and modern-African history. His dissertation, “Race, River and the Railroad: Black Huntington, West Virginia, 1871-1929,” focuses on the transition of southern rural and semi-rural black migrants to life in the embryonic urban-industrial city of Huntington.
Fain is an assistant professor of history at the College of Southern Maryland. He has published articles in the Journal of Appalachian Studies, Ohio Valley History, and West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies.
For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the program, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, by e-mail at [email protected] or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.
The Archives and History Library is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday. The library is closed on Sunday.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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