CHARLESTON, W.Va. –  Sim E. Fryson will present “African American Life: A Personal Perspective” in the Archives and History Library in the Culture Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston on Thursday, July 26, 2018. The program, the third of the 2018 Block Speaker Series, will begin at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

A native of Charleston, Fryson is the sixth of eight children born to the late Sim Fryson and Dorothy Hawkins Fryson. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in education from West Virginia State College and an associate degree in business and marketing from the University of Detroit through the General Motors Institute. Fryson served four years in the United States Air Force and is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Fryson began his automobile career by selling used cars on a small independent used car lot while attending college. He then became a sales person at C & O Motors, the largest automobile dealership in West Virginia. He was the first African American in West Virginia to become a new car sales person, F & I manager, sales manager and general sales manager. In 1995, he became president and CEO of Sim Fryson Motor Company in Ashland, Ky., and most recently he owned a dealership in South Charleston. Fryson has received numerous awards and honors, including WSAZ Hometown Hero, and his company was named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the top 100 black-owned businesses in the country from 1985 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 2005.

He is married to Susan Fryson and they have three children, Brent, Sydnei and Sierra. He is a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian and is elder at the Shiloh Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Huntington, W.Va.

“The Block” was once considered the heart of Charleston’s African American community. It is comprised of a 25-acre area bounded by Washington Street East, Capitol Street, Smith Street and Sentz Court.

For additional information about the Archives and History lecture series, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

Participants may park behind the Culture Center after 5 p.m. on July 26 and enter the building at the back loading dock area. There also is limited handicapped parking available in the new bus turnaround.