Yunina Barbour-Payne

Scholar, Artist, Educator

Yunina Barbour-Payne is a scholar, artist and activist. From Art for Social Justice, Affrilachian Theater to Short Comedy, you may find it all here.


Her Story

Yunina Barbour-Payne is a scholar, artist and educator from Louisville, KY, currently residing in Houston, TX.  She  yields a passion for the arts and  social justice in its variety of forms.

As a performing artist, Yunina is a playwright, director and actress.  Her recent works involve topics such as  violent injustice against youth sparking the Black Lives Matter movement, individual histories of talented people of color over time and embodied performances and personal expressions of survival among African American women in Appalachia. 

As an Affrilachian scholar/artist she has performed historical interpretations of significant figures regionally in Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and Texas. Barbour-Payne’s performances can be found at the Museum of Blacksburg Odd Fellows Hall and have been presented at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

As a scholar/artist, Yunina embraces the intersectionality of her identity as a scholar/artist and educator and that interrelationship is evident in all the work she directs and produces. Yunina’s scholarship is interdisciplinary and involves Africana studies, Appalachian studies, folklore, art for social justice  and performance. 




Photographer: Adriana Byrum (

Head shot: Yunina Barbour-Payne