Guest speaker brings discussion on black entrepreneurship to Glenville State College

GLENVILLE, WV – As part of Black History Month celebrations, Glenville State College hosted Dr. Cicero Fain on February 7 for a presentation on black history in West Virginia, specifically in the area. of Huntington.

The Glenville State Department of Social Sciences hosted Fain, who is currently a Visiting Diversity Scholar at Marshall University and author of the award-winning book, Black Huntington: A History of Appalachia. He addressed an audience of 90 in the President’s Auditorium on the topic of “Black Entrepreneurship, Black Huntington, WV, 1871-1929”.

His presentation examined the strategies and tactics used by Black Huntingtonians to mitigate the corrosive impact of segregation, industrial racism, and political obstacles in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Not content with remaining at the bottom of the professional and political structures controlled by white Huntingtonians, black Huntingtonians, embracing the Racial Uplift philosophy of the time, used increasingly sophisticated entrepreneurial strategies to build economically stable households and a intergenerational wealth. The priority was the acquisition of properties to climb the economic ladder, build community institutions and advance the race.

“It was one of the most enjoyable presentations I’ve ever given,” Fain said. “Not only was it the biggest audience I’ve ever had, but the quality of student engagement was top notch. Their interest was gratifying and their questions stimulating. Congratulations to everyone involved for organizing this wonderful event.”

“I really appreciated how he went in depth on a topic that isn’t talked about much. Dr. Fain was very knowledgeable about black history in Huntington, West Virginia,” said Jacob Price, a history student and political science at Glenville State College “When they’re giving a talk, people who come to these events want depth and excitement…not just to sell books. And I feel like he’s knocks the conference out of the park.

Fain’s was the second discussion hosted by the Department of Social Sciences in the 2021-22 academic year, and the department aims to continue the series in the future. During Glenville State College Giving Day, the department will raise funds to expand the guest speaker series.

For more information about the event, contact the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences, Dr. Kaitlin Ensor at or (304) 462-6281.

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