Turner’s Roots

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

Alex Haley, the author of Roots, advised William H. Turner ’74Ph.D. to shun the academic language of his sociological treatise, Blacks in Appalachia, and “write something your mama will read.” That’s what Turner tried to do in his new book, The Harlan Renaissance: Stories of Black Life in Appalachian Coal Towns. The Kentucky coal country native joins The Endless Conversation to talk about the Harlan County he knew growing up and that he has studied for decades since.