Yunina Barbour-Payne

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.


Yunina Barbour-Payne is a scholar, artist and educator from Louisville, KY, currently residing in Houston, TX.  She holds an M.A. in Performance Studies from Texas A&M University and a B.A. in Integrated Studies from Northern Kentucky University with areas of concentration in Theater, Dance, Psychology and Black Studies.

As a performing artist, Yunina is a playwright, director and actress.  Her recent work, Time and Time again, highlights violent injustice against youth sparking the Black Lives Matter movement. Another work, A Star is Bourne, co- authored with Brandon Delagraentis  is a musical that follows the history of talented people of color over time. Her One woman show  Precious Memories focuses on 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: Pin Lim

Head shot: Yunina Barbour-Payne