Ad Spot

Black Alabamians touched every aspect of life

By Staff
Rep. Ronald Grantland, Guest columnist
A truly great American and native Alabamian, Coretta Scott King, passed away recently. King's death comes during Black History Month, and her passing offers a unique and powerful opportunity to reflect on the many influential African-Americans from Alabama who have helped define who we are as a state and country.
Events that started in Alabama, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and "Bloody Sunday," the violence that broke out on the Edmund Pettis bridge at the beginning of the march from Selma to Montgomery, changed the nation and the world.
Several of the heroes who challenged segregation laws and the injustice that denied blacks the use of public accommodations and the right to vote are from Alabama. The simple dignity and strength of purpose that Rosa Parks exhibited was the spark that ignited the civil rights movement. Her place in history was so important that she was the first black woman to lie-in-state in the nation's Capitol after her passing. To be so honored places her on the same level as presidents and other great leaders. All Alabamians can take pride in her accomplishments and the person she was.
Yet Alabama's famous African Americans do not begin and end at the civil rights movement. Leaders in many different facets of life were either born in or resided in our state, and did their best work here.
For example, Alabama was home to the famous "Tuskegee Airmen," which trained over 1,000 black pilots at the Tuskegee Army Air Field, which is now Tuskegee University.
Leaders of the academic world and pioneers in the fields of science and technology have called Alabama home. Booker T. Washington founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881 and became recognized as the nation's foremost black educator. Others such as George Washington Carver, a pioneer in agricultural engineering, Mae Jemison, the first African American astronaut, and Dr. David Satcher, the first African American Surgeon General, all have ties to Alabama.
Alabama's African Americans have made incredible contributions to athletics as well. Jesse Owens, who defied Hitler by participating and winning four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, showed our nation and the world the dignity and dedication of African Americans. Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis battled segregation at home while fighting in the ring. Baseball greats Willie Mays, Satchel Paige, and the all-time homerun leader Hank Aaron are all from our state.
Several musical greats come from Alabama. W.C. Handy, the great composer and one of founders of jazz, hails from our state. Nat "King" Cole and Lionel Hampton, two of the best known musicians during the middle part of the last century, called Alabama home. And the incomparable Dinah Washington was born and raised right here in Alabama.
It is important to honor and celebrate Alabama's leaders in the civil rights movement. And it is just as important to acknowledge the black Alabamians that were leaders in so many other fields and endeavors.
Our state can take pride in their accomplishments not only during black history month, but also throughout the year.

Falkville

A surprise homecoming

Hartselle

Bank Independent collects more than $21,776, 970 food items

Hartselle

Police: Huntsville man has sex with 13-year-old Morgan girl

Hartselle

Hartselle Farmers Market to open Saturday

Hartselle

Cullman Regional to open first health park in Alabama

Morgan County

Habitat begins new build for county family

Hartselle

Hartselle to be fined $1,500 for landfill fire that burned for weeks

Danville

Danville teacher faces drug charge, on paid leave for second time in 6 years

Hartselle

State health officials ‘encouraged’ by improving COVID-19 numbers

Hartselle

Morgan schools to get two more SROs

Morgan County

Good boy: Morgan County K9 aids deputies in narcotics investigations, seizures

Hartselle

Hartselle robotics teams participate in statewide competition

Hartselle

Community gathers for seventh-annual egg drop

Hartselle

Alabama’s hospitals, nursing homes urge mask usage, issue reminders on visitation

Falkville

Multiple agencies respond for water rescue

Hartselle

Chamber board considers three for election

Hartselle

Hartselle youth wins big during Junior Beef Expo

Hartselle

Vote before April 12 in the Best of the Best contest

Falkville

Falkville plans town-wide yard sale

Hartselle

HACC annual meeting, awards gala slated for May 7 

News

Priceville incurs fines over sewer issues, including allegedly hiding E. coli levels

Hartselle

William Bradford Huie Library recognizes Women of Hartselle

Hartselle

Hartselle teenager earns solo wings through Redstone Civil Air Patrol

Hartselle

‘It’s a hard knock life’

x