Alabama African American History


These video clips features interviews of some of the most legendary African Americans in Alabama's history.

  • Billie Jean Young

    Billie Jean Young, a poet, author, actor, educator, activist, and artist-in-residence at Judson College, talks about her unique career that combines her interests in rural women, the Civil Rights Movement and life in the Alabama Black Belt. Ms. Young was a 2011 AT&T Black History Calendar honoree. She has performed her one woman show, entitled "Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light of Mine," around the world.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Dr. Ethel Hall

    Dr. Ethel Hall, a life long educator, began her career as a teacher and became the first African American Vice President of the Alabama State Board of Education. She was featured in the 2011 AT&T African American History Calendar. Dr. Hall was a long-term advocate for students and teachers.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Dr. Charlayne Hunter-Gault

    Charlayne Hunter-Gault was one of the first African Americans to attend the University of Georgia. An award winning journalist, she has appeared on a wide variety of news programs on television and radio. She was honored as the 2011 Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award recipient. Dr. Gault talks about the importance of non-violent protest and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on recent protests including the Arab Spring.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Lt. Col. Herbert Carter

    Lt. Col. Herbert Carter was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Listen as he explains how he and other Tuskegee students broke through barriers to become airmen in World War II. The U.S. Armed Forces were segregated until 1948. Lt. Col. Carter represents the Tuskeegee Airmen who were featured as honorees in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • George Franklin, Husband of Marva N. Collins

    George Franklin talks about the career of his wife, Marva Collins, nationally recognized speaker, author and education mentor. Ms. Collins taught in Alabama and Chicago, but after a time, appalled with what she saw in the public schools, opened her own school, which specialized in helping "at-risk" children. The television movie The Marva Collins Story is the story of her life. Marva Collins was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Gloria Hemphill Speaks about Her Father, Jesse Owens

    Gloria Hemphill is the daughter of the famous athlete Jesse Owens. Ms. Hemphill talks about her father and his legacy. Jesse Owens was born in Alabama and became an athlete in the field of track and field, shattering a number of world records while in college. He won four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic games in Berlin. Later in his life he became an inspirational public speaker. Owens continues to receive awards, even after his death in 1980. Owens was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • U.W. Clemon

    U.W. Clemons was one of Dr. Martin Luther King's foot soldiers. At age 13 he decided to become a civil rights lawyer. Clemon addressed important issues in his roles as a civil rights attorney and Alabama State senator. In 1980 President Carter appointed Clemon as Alabama's first black federal judge and he served as the Chief Judge of the Court from 1999-2006. Mr. Clemon was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Col. R.J. Lewis

    Col. R.J. Lewis is a second generation Tuskegee Airman. From his interaction with the Tuskegee Airmen and his time in the military, he learned many life lessons. His message to youth consists of 5 "P's" for Success: 1. Always have a Purpose and a Plan. 2. Prepare yourself in school. 3. Develop Passion for what you choose to do in life. 4. Persevere; do NOT give up! 5. When the door of opportunity opens; step in, take charge, and then Perform to the best of your abilities. The Tuskeegee Airmen were honored on the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Mary Ann Pettway, Gee's Bend Quilters

    Mary Ann Pettway, Director of the Gee's Bend Quilter's Collective, recounts the history of the Gee's Bend Quilters. This group of Alabama women has gained national and international acclaim for their work in carrying on the tradition of quilt making. The Gee's Bend Quilters were featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Vivian D. Figures

    Vivian Figures, Senator Michael Figures' widow, recounts the highlights of Michael's life. Michael was one of the first three African Americans to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Alabama School of Law. In 1987 Figures won a major victory against the Ku Klux Klan. Michael Figures was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Odessa Woolfolk

    Odessa Woolfolk is known for her work as an educator, public administrator, and civic activist. She held many positions during her distinguished career, and was on the team that conceptualized and created the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. She retired as the director of the Center for Urban Affairs at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1993. Odessa Woolfolk was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12
  • Dr. Bernice King

    Dr. Bernice King, youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, is an attorney and a minister. Only five years old when her father was assassinated, Dr. King talks about what she learned from living with her mother and her realization of her father's influence on the world. Coretta Scott King was one of the honorees featured in the 2012 AT&T Alabama African American History Calendar.

    Grades: 7-12

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