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.

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Thank you for sharing stories of memory, place, trauma and dreams. As an outsider of Affrilachia/Appalachia I think it’s so important to open up spaces that work toward hearing across communities. I hope this gets to really a broader audience so people can witness the complexities and importance of place and histories.
— Audience Member from 2018 Appalachian Studies Association Conference, Staged Reading of TOBACCO FIELDS
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Our Journey

The Affrilachian Memory Play series, serves as a Performative Inquiry for understanding Affrilachian identity in its communal, familial and creative iterations.

The performances represented here foreground a long  history of “individual independence and commitment to family, work and community across an array of Black Appalachian voices. In order to better understand how African American women’s memories of growing up in Appalachia express Affrilachian identity, the  “Affrilachian Memory Play series” offers a dramatic expression of black recognition and inclusion in Appalachia. Welcome to our journey.

The goal of this work to represent the longstanding culturally diverse experiences of people of color within the region of Appalachia. 

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PRECIOUS MEMORIES

PRECIOUS MEMORIES is the first play in The Affrilachian Memory Play series. This one woman show is based on research conducted on an African American Community in Southwest Virginia. 

Last Performed in May of 2012 at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, KY. This play was  also performed in 2011 in Richmond, KY at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference  and later informed first person interpretations at the Brazos Valley African American Museum in Bryan, TX.

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TOBACCO FIELDS

Tobacco Fields is a one-act play within a series that presents the voice of one Black Appalachian girl (affectionately known as Girl #9) growing up as an insider/outsider within the region. Situated in rural Kentucky, the play focuses on Girl #9’s coming of age. Girl #9 negotiates her Affrilachian identity through her own memory and imaginative stories of surviving work, abuse and family.

 

A Staged Reading of TOBACCO FIELDS was performed in April of 2018 in Cincinnati, OH at the Appalachian Studies Association Conference.

 CHECK OUT OUR CAST FROM THE STAGED READING OF TOBACCO FIELDS AT THE 2018 APPALACHIAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE. 

CHECK OUT OUR CAST FROM THE STAGED READING OF TOBACCO FIELDS AT THE 2018 APPALACHIAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE. 

This performance gave me chills. I really hope that I’ll be able to catch the whole thing. I was intensely moved just with the reading, can’t imagine how fantastic the performance in its entirety will be.
— Misty Skaggs (2018 Appalachian Studies Association, Staged Reading of TOBACCO FIELDS)
I want more! I believe this work can serve as a bridge to diversity in Appalachia. What a wonderful entre’ to possible dialogue.
— Stephanie Cornett of Appalachian Strong (2018 Appalachian Studies Association Reading of TOBACCO FIELDS)