Violet S. Payne

Payne, Violet

Violet S. Payne has been a member of the Eastern Shore (NY) of the Links Incorporated, since 2005. As a dedicated member to the organization, she has served in many roles and with several committees.  She has served as Eastern Shore (NY) Chapter Treasurer, Financial Secretary, and Interim Vice President. Currently she is serving as Eastern Shore (NY) Chapter Rituals Chair. On the national level, she has served as Timekeeper at The Links National Assemblies.  She has also served in this capacity for the Eastern Area Conferences. She assisted with proofing the 75th Eastern Area History Book for the Eastern Area Archives and History Committee. Violet has also served on the Board of Directors at Huntington Cinema Arts Centre. She was married to Les Payne for over fifty years. The Paynes were and continue to be avid collectors of art from Black/African diaspora. Upon his untimely death in 2018, as a family, the Payne family combined their energies to bring the book, The Dead Are Arising, the Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne to publication. Tamara, Heir O Link, was instrumental with the completion of this book, as principal researcher and co-author. And, Heir O Links, Jamal and Haile Payne provided the technical support, needed to accomplish this task. Over the past two years, the book, The Dead Are Arising, the Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne, has won:

  • 2020 National Book Award for Non-Fiction
  • 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Biography
  • 2021 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Biography/Autobiography

In her spare time, Violet finds joy in the accomplishments of her children and traveling the world, as well as, travels to Antarctica.

“I want these two pieces of work (Black Reconstruction and Black People in WWII) to be literature and not simply mechanical history.  I want it to be an interpretation of the human soul done in language which is intelligible and beautiful.” – W.E.B. DuBois