Since his teenage years, Bill Hairston has been fascinated by the folklore
and culture of his neighbors along the Coal River near St. Albans, West
As a result of those interests, he listened and learned the stories
and music that was a part of the rich Appalachian culture that he was exposed to as a child.
During his years as a student at Glenville State College, he began
to study and interpret the contributions of African Americans to Appalachian history and culture. As a musician and storyteller,
he has taught and performed throughout West Virginia and
the surrounding region.
Bill is well known as the person in West
Virginia who developed the elementary school program that combines the Appalachian culture with the
African-American culture in his program titled, "We Are One".