Nineteen Fifty-Six Vol. 1 No. 4 We are Black History

This is the February Issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, We are Black History, is showcased throughout the magazine in honor of Black History Month.

This is the February Issue of Nineteen Fifty-Six magazine. The theme, We are Black History, is showcased throughout the magazine in honor of Black History Month.


You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.


1 2


FEBRUARY 2021<br />




































<strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> is published by the Office of Student Media at The<br />

University of Alabama. All content and design <strong>are</strong> produced by students in<br />

consultation with professional staff advisers. All material contained herein,<br />

except advertising or where indicated otherwise, is copyrighted © 2020 by<br />

<strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> magazine. Material herein may not be reprinted without<br />

the expressed, written permission of <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> magazine. Editorial<br />

and Advertising offices for <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> Magazine <strong>are</strong> located at 414<br />

Campus Drive East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. The mailing address is P.O. Box<br />

870170, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487. Phone: (205) 348-7257.<br />


C O P Y R I G H T<br />

“Change will not come if we wait for some<br />

other person or some other time. <strong>We</strong> <strong>are</strong><br />

the ones we’ve been waiting for. <strong>We</strong> <strong>are</strong> the<br />

change that we seek.” - Barack Obama<br />

Who better exemplifies being “the change that<br />

we seek” than the very first <strong>Black</strong> president of<br />

the United States? Barack Obama made history<br />

when he was elected the 44th president of the<br />

United States on <strong>No</strong>vember 4, 2008. I was only seven<br />

years old when this historical moment took place.<br />

To this day, I still remember the excitement of my <strong>Black</strong> classmates in<br />

second grade the morning after the election. Some said they would run<br />

for president in the future just like Obama. Others sh<strong>are</strong>d stories about<br />

celebrating with their family upon hearing the election results. Among the<br />

commotion, a few students, including my younger self, spoke about how<br />

they would become the first <strong>Black</strong> woman to be president. Whether or not<br />

these students would run for president in the future was not the point.<br />

The point was my <strong>Black</strong> classmates finally felt like they could hold one of<br />

the most powerful positions in America because someone in that position<br />

finally looked like them.<br />

Sometimes, we can get caught up in planning. <strong>We</strong> might speak of change and<br />

even make excessive plans on how we will enact it. Yet, the most important<br />

step is to just begin. Change can not happen without action. Action can not<br />

happen without initiative. Your first step does not have to be big. However,<br />

you must take the first step in order to begin the journey towards change.<br />

I encourage you to stop waiting for the ‘perfect’ time because there is no<br />

perfect time but the present. Do something today that puts you on the<br />

right path towards being the change you desire to see.<br />

I am pleased to present the fourth issue of <strong>Nineteen</strong> <strong>Fifty</strong>-<strong>Six</strong> to you all. I<br />

hope this magazine issue encourages you to be the change you desire and<br />

remember you <strong>are</strong> a part of <strong>Black</strong> history.<br />


3 4













0 7<br />

09<br />

12<br />

15<br />

18<br />

20<br />

24<br />

27<br />

5 6


BLOODY<br />



He served as a member of the Tuscaloosa<br />

city council for 24 years and as president<br />

for 12 years. So far, there has yet to be<br />

another <strong>Black</strong> city council president.<br />

“I’ve been a few firsts in things, but I don’t<br />

c<strong>are</strong> about being the first, as long as I’m<br />

not the last,” said Taylor.<br />

Since “Bloody Tuesday,” Tuscaloosa has<br />

slowly become a more diverse and inclusive<br />

city. People of color started to hold<br />

positions of power within the city council.<br />

They also broke barriers and became state<br />

attorneys, lawyers, judges and officers.<br />

However, racism and injustice remains an<br />

issue in the state of Alabama and across<br />

the country. Taylor said he is proud of<br />

the activism and leadership shown by the<br />

younger generation. National movements<br />

like <strong>Black</strong> Lives Matter have changed the<br />

impact of protests by utilizing smart<br />

phones and social media.<br />


I<br />

t’s been 57 years since a group of peaceful<br />

protestors planned to march from the First African<br />

Baptist Church to the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse<br />

on June 9, 1964. Their purpose: stand against<br />

segregated drinking fountains and restrooms at the<br />

county courthouse. Protestors b<strong>are</strong>ly made it out of<br />

the church before they were attacked by awaiting<br />

officers and angry white citizens. This historic day in<br />

Tuscaloosa is known as “Bloody Tuesday.” Most of us<br />

<strong>are</strong> familiar with a similar civil rights march named<br />

“Bloody Sunday,” which occurred the following year in<br />

Selma, Alabama. The 1964 march in Tuscaloosa received<br />

little recognition comp<strong>are</strong>d to other documented civil<br />

rights movements. However, this brave act from young<br />

students, activists and leaders made a great impact on<br />

the city.<br />

Segregation was the norm in the state of Alabama<br />

during the 1960s. It was also encouraged by former<br />

state Gov. George C. Wallace as he once famously stated:<br />

“segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation<br />

forever.” In June of 1963, just one year prior to the<br />

courthouse protest, Wallace temporarily blocked the<br />

entrance of <strong>Black</strong> students at The University of<br />

Alabama. Since this day, community members and<br />

leaders have continued to fight and advocate for<br />

change while taking small steps towards equality.<br />

Harrsion Taylor, former Tuscaloosa city council<br />

president, was a foot soldier in the civil rights<br />

movement of 1963-1964. He was only 17 years old when<br />

“Bloody Tuesday” took place. Taylor stood amongst<br />

other community leaders and students to march<br />

from First African Baptist church to the Tuscaloosa<br />

County Courthouse. The Tuscaloosa native is now 73<br />

years old and stands proud of all that Tuscaloosa has<br />

accomplished since that historic Tuesday. Taylor said<br />

he believes Dinah Washington’s rendition of “What a<br />

Diff’rence a Day Makes” should be dedicated to the<br />

city of Tuscaloosa.<br />

“I’m proud of my hometown, we’ve come a long way,”<br />

said Taylor. “The march changed Tuscaloosa not just<br />

for <strong>Black</strong>s, but for fair minded Whites too.”<br />

Taylor reflected on his historic journey from marching<br />

alongside great leaders like Rev. T.Y. Rogers Jr. to<br />

becoming the first <strong>Black</strong> city council president. During<br />

his time on the city council, Harrison continued to<br />

enforce changes within City Hall to improve diversity.<br />

“I think the <strong>Black</strong> Lives Matter Movement<br />

is needed. That’s one movement where<br />

I’ve seen young Whites come out and join<br />

right away,” Taylor said. “TV made a big<br />

difference across this country because<br />

people were able to see injustice for<br />

themselves.”<br />

7 8



T<br />

his quote by the acclaimed novelist<br />

and essayist, encompasses all that<br />

is inherent to <strong>Black</strong> women, from<br />

their work to their personal lives.<br />

Throughout history, <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

have had to take on more roles to<br />

maintain and move through life<br />

as protectors and guides for their<br />

community that includes family,<br />

friendships, and c<strong>are</strong>ers. This is<br />

further explained by Dr. Jameka<br />

Hartley, a faculty member apart of the<br />

Gender and Race Studies department<br />

stating, “<strong>Black</strong> women <strong>are</strong> often<br />

the backbone of their families and<br />

Culture<br />

Queens<br />

The Unsung frontline workers<br />

<strong>Black</strong> women <strong>are</strong> the<br />

touchstone by which all that is<br />

human can be measured.<br />

- Toni Morrison.<br />

communities. Historically, people of<br />

the African Diaspora <strong>are</strong> a matrilineal<br />

people and honor the women and<br />

maternal figures. There is no aspect<br />

of <strong>Black</strong> culture that hasn’t been<br />

touched by a <strong>Black</strong> woman. Literally,<br />

<strong>Black</strong> culture was birthed by <strong>Black</strong><br />

women as each <strong>Black</strong> person is built<br />

and birthed by a <strong>Black</strong> mother.”<br />

“Throughout history we’ve seen so<br />

many different examples of black<br />

women just healing, of protesting,<br />

of resisting, of teaching, of<br />

organizing, of reimagining, curating,<br />

collaborating writing, directing and<br />

producing,” states Dr. Alexis McGee,<br />

an Assist. Professor of English at<br />

The University of Alabama. McGee’s<br />

comment showcases the myriad<br />

of roles that <strong>Black</strong> women inhabit<br />

as creators and defenders to carry<br />

the proverbial weight of their<br />

communities’ issues and ultimately<br />

be the individuals who solve them.<br />

An example of solving an issue would<br />

be past elections, specifically the 2020<br />

presidential race which was heavily<br />

dependent on <strong>Black</strong> women. Because<br />

of <strong>Black</strong> women, they were able to<br />

elect a Democratic President and Vice<br />

President in Kamala Harris. In the<br />

months following, two Democratic<br />

senators were elected in Georgia,<br />

turning the state blue for the first<br />

time in 25 years. This was thanks, in<br />

large part, to Stacey Abrams and the<br />

work of her organization, Fair Fight,<br />

in helping to combat Georgia’s voter<br />

suppression tactics. These types of<br />

changes should come as no surprise<br />

when the numbers state the facts,<br />

where according to polling from<br />

American Election Eve, <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

made up more than 90 percent of the<br />

votes for Democrats. The work of<br />

Stacey Abrams was a tremendous help<br />

in speaking to a demographic that<br />

was largely overlooked and at times<br />

forgotten. But with Abrams focusing<br />

on the issues most important to the<br />

<strong>Black</strong> community, she was able to<br />

gain their trust and showcase their<br />

worth and importance to a society<br />

that viewed them as an afterthought.<br />

Continuing in the same vein of<br />

advocating for the rights of the <strong>Black</strong><br />

community, dates to before Abrams<br />

with the work of investigative<br />

journalist and activist, Ida B. <strong>We</strong>lls.<br />

<strong>We</strong>lls was outspoken with her<br />

reporting in the Memphis newspaper,<br />

Free Speech, where she reported<br />

on the lynching of <strong>Black</strong> men and<br />

women. One editorial highlighted<br />

the lynching of her friend, Thomas<br />

Moss, because he was a business<br />

owner. Because of <strong>We</strong>ll’s reporting<br />

that urged Memphis citizens to<br />

leave and boycott trolley cars, 20<br />

percent of the <strong>Black</strong> population left<br />

along with trolley cars remaining<br />

empty for a year. <strong>We</strong>lls continued her<br />

investigations with publications of<br />

her research in Southern Horrors:<br />

Lynch Law in All Its Phases in 1892<br />

and The Red Record in 1895. Her<br />

work shined a light on a dark secret<br />

this nation did not want to be seen.<br />

This type of transformative and<br />

life-changing work is a monumental<br />

feature to be accomplished as<br />

well as the effect this has on the<br />

communities that benefit. When a<br />

<strong>Black</strong> woman does the work, it results<br />

in a domino effect that can be felt for<br />

lasting generations as more step to<br />

pick up the mantle.<br />

Furthering this is the reasoning for<br />

why this work will consistently fall<br />

upon the shoulders of <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

with the fact that our existence is<br />

dependent on the strides being made<br />

to make the road ahead easier. “<strong>Black</strong><br />

women’s lives <strong>are</strong> impacted by being<br />

both raced and gendered and it is<br />

this embodied oppression that moves<br />

us towards pathways of liberation,”<br />

says Dr. Hartley. Working within the<br />

frame of racism and sexism acts as a<br />

driving force for <strong>Black</strong> women in the<br />

varying labors they perform from<br />

being the shield against attacks, the<br />

bullhorn for justice or the trailblazer<br />

on unventured paths.<br />

Even with all the encouraging labor,<br />

many forget that this type of labor<br />

is tiring and taxing on the body as<br />

well as the mind and <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

<strong>are</strong> then loaded with balancing the<br />

expectations of others who <strong>are</strong> a part<br />

of the <strong>Black</strong> community. As evidenced<br />

by Amanda Gorman, the first National<br />

Youth Laureate Poet, when speaking<br />

about her own struggle with Imposter<br />

Syndrome in the Time 100 issue with<br />

former First Lady Michelle Obama,<br />

“Speaking in public as a <strong>Black</strong> girl<br />

is already daunting enough, just<br />

coming onstage with my dark skin<br />

and my hair and my race—that in<br />

itself is inviting a type of people that<br />

have not often been welcomed or<br />

celebrated in the public sphere.”<br />

Having to contend with the<br />

additional scrutiny of image and<br />

inhabiting a space that was not built<br />

with you in mind and in no way is<br />

trying to bend to be more inclusive<br />

is a daunting task that <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

have taken on and continue to break<br />

through barriers designed for their<br />

exclusion. As detailed by Dr. McGee<br />

about the ongoing work of <strong>Black</strong><br />

women, “<strong>We</strong> see all these different<br />

ways that <strong>Black</strong> women engage with<br />

liberating or engage with ways of<br />

making freedoms, whether that be to<br />

change the law or whether that be to<br />

create space for oneself or to validate<br />

the experiences of black women.”<br />

All that has been achieved and<br />

continuing to be achieved speaks to<br />

the resiliency of <strong>Black</strong> women and the<br />

importance of every <strong>Black</strong> woman’s<br />

story, no matter their background,<br />

appearance, or education. There<br />

is space for every one of them with<br />

their courage and their vulnerability,<br />

for all of this we sing their praises.<br />

9 10


Diaspora Dining<br />


M<br />

any communities rest inside<br />

the African diaspora. While<br />

we have many unique experiences<br />

and qualities from our own microcultures,<br />

we still sh<strong>are</strong> many common<br />

beliefs. Food is seen as a way to bring<br />

family, feuding parties and other<br />

groups together. Even though it<br />

may be difficult to physically come<br />

together in fellowship, these recipes<br />

will always bring us to the worldwide<br />

table. <strong>No</strong> reservation needed.<br />

Sweet Plantains from the<br />

Caribbean Islands<br />

This delicious dessert hails from<br />

countries closer to the Equator.<br />

Plantains, often confused with<br />

bananas, <strong>are</strong> the popular fruits’<br />

savory cousin. This easy recipe will<br />

take you to the islands of Jamaica<br />

where this food is a popular side<br />

dish. It’s also referred to as dodo in<br />

Nigeria!<br />


4 yellow ripe plantains<br />

2 tablespoons butter<br />

2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or canola)<br />

1 - 2 tablespoons sugar<br />

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon<br />


1. Cut off the ends of the plantains. Then, use a knife<br />

to slice into the skin along the length of the plantain.<br />

Don't slice too deep in, just deep enough to slice the<br />

skin. Remove the peel in strips with your finger. Cut<br />

the plantains into 1-inch-thick slices.<br />

2. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over mediumhigh<br />

heat.<br />

3. When the butter is melted, place the plantains slices<br />

into the skillet. Fry until the plantains begin to turn<br />

golden brown, then turn over, and continue frying,<br />

about 2 minutes per side.<br />

4. Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle plantain with sugar and<br />

cinnamon. Cover the skillet and cook, turning them<br />

over once, until the plantains <strong>are</strong> tender, and they have<br />

caramelized, about 8 - 10 minutes.<br />

5. Serve immediately as a side dish to any entrée.<br />

11 12

Jollof Rice from <strong>We</strong>st Africa<br />

Jollof rice is a staple dish widely known in <strong>We</strong>st African<br />

countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia and<br />

Sierra Leone. Nigerians refer to this as their party rice,<br />

served at ceremonies and celebrations. Others regard it as<br />

a necessary part of a great home-cooked meal.<br />


1/3 cup oil (vegetable/canola/coconut, not olive oil)<br />

6 medium-sized fresh plum/Roma tomatoes, chopped, OR<br />

a 400-gram tin of tomatoes<br />

6 fresh, red poblano peppers (or 4 large red bell peppers),<br />

seeds discarded<br />

3 medium-sized red onions (1 sliced thinly, 2 roughly<br />

chopped), divided<br />

1/2 to 1 hot pepper, or to taste (yellow Scotch bonnets <strong>are</strong><br />

my favourite)<br />

3 tablespoons tomato paste<br />

2 teaspoons (Caribbean/Jamaican-style) curry powder<br />

1 teaspoon dried thyme<br />

2 dried bay leaves<br />

5 to 6 cups stock (vegetable, chicken, or beef) or water,<br />

divided<br />

2 teaspoons unsalted butter (optional), divided<br />

4 cups uncooked converted long-grain rice or golden sella<br />

basmati, rinsed<br />

Salt, to taste<br />

<strong>Black</strong> and white pepper, to taste<br />


1. In a blender, combine tomatoes, red poblano (or bell)<br />

peppers, chopped onions, and Scotch bonnets with 2 cups<br />

of stock, blend till smooth, about a minute or two. You<br />

should have roughly 6 cups of blended mix. Pour into a<br />

large pot/ pan and bring to the boil then turn down and<br />

let simmer, covered for 10 - 12 minutes<br />

2. In a large pan, heat oil and add the sliced onions. Season<br />

with a pinch of salt, stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, then add<br />

the bay leaves, curry powder and dried thyme and a pinch<br />

of black pepper for 3 - 4 minutes on medium heat. Then<br />

add the tomato paste - stir for another 2 minutes. Add the<br />

reduced tomato-pepper-Scotch bonnet mixture, stir, and<br />

set on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes till reduced by<br />

half, with the lid on. This is the stew that will define the<br />

pot.<br />

3. Add 4 cups of the stock to the cooked tomato sauce and<br />

bring it to boil for 1 - 2 minutes.<br />

4. Add the rinsed rice and butter, stir, cover with a double<br />

piece of foil/baking or parchment paper and put a lid on<br />

the pan—this will seal in the steam and lock in the flavour.<br />

Turn down the heat and cook on low for 30 minutes.<br />

5. Stir rice—taste and adjust as required.<br />

6. If you like, add sliced onions, fresh tomatoes and the<br />

2nd teaspoon of butter and stir through.<br />

Southern Shrimp & Grits<br />

from the United States<br />

This recipe hails from the Gulf Coast. The southeastern<br />

region of the United States holds so much history for<br />

African Americans. Stories, family lineage and history<br />

<strong>are</strong> often passed down by word of mouth. Popular recipes<br />

like shrimp & grits have traveled through generations the<br />

same way. This dish can be found in restaurants all over<br />

the world but it will always be birthed by the bayou.<br />


GRITS:<br />

4 cups chicken broth<br />

1/2 cup whipping cream<br />

1 cup quick cooking grits<br />

Salt and freshly ground black pepper<br />

1 tablespoon butter<br />

1/4 cup Parmesan<br />

SHRIMP:<br />

2 tablespoons butter<br />

1/2 medium onion, chopped<br />

2 cloves garlic, minced<br />

1 green bell pepper, chopped<br />

1/2 pound smoked kielbasa sausage, sliced<br />

2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined<br />

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes<br />

Chopped chives, for garnish<br />


1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the chicken stock,<br />

and whipping cream up to a low simmer. While simmering<br />

whisk in the grits and a pinch of salt. Stir constantly and<br />

return to a low simmer. Cook until thickened, stirring<br />

often, about 5 minutes.<br />

2. Stir in the butter and Parmesan cheese. Season, to<br />

taste, with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over<br />

medium-heat.<br />

3. Melt butter and saute onion, garlic, and green bell<br />

pepper. Saute until tender and translucent, and add the<br />

sausage. When the sausage has cooked, add the shrimp<br />

and saute for about 2 minutes.<br />

4. Add white wine and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil,<br />

about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.<br />

Serve over the Parmesan cheese grits. Garnish with<br />

chopped chives.<br />

Quindims from Brazil<br />

Brazil is home to the largest group of people with African<br />

heritage outside of the continent of Africa. Their culture<br />

is rich and so is their food. Quindim is a custard dish with<br />

coconut. This sweet dish is made with simple ingredients<br />

and is a country wide favorite.<br />


1 muffin tin<br />

1 pan or dish for holding hot water<br />

8 egg yolks sieved<br />

½ cup sugar<br />

3 tablespoons butter melted<br />

½ cup coconut milk<br />

1 cup grated or shredded coconut fresh or dry<br />


2 tablespoons butter soft<br />

1/3 cup sugar<br />


1. Place the coconut in a large bowl and pour the coconut<br />

milk on top. Mix well and let stand for 5 minutes.<br />

2. In a blender, add the sugar, butter, coconut mixture and<br />

egg yolks. Mix for 2 minutes.<br />

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C.<br />

4. Generously apply butter in each mold of the tin and<br />

cover the bottom and edges with sugar edges. Add a little<br />

more sugar at the bottom.<br />

5. Pour the mixture into the molds and let stand 10<br />

minutes at room temperature. Pour hot water in a pan<br />

and sit the muffin tin in the water. Place in the oven for<br />

50 minutes.<br />

6. Allow to cool before unmolding.<br />

Diaspora Dining<br />


13 14


<strong>Black</strong> Like I Never Left<br />


E<br />

veryone has heard of<br />

hand-me-downs from<br />

older siblings or family<br />

members but what about<br />

hand-me-downs from<br />

a whole generation of<br />

fashion? Many fashion<br />

statements from the<br />

late 20th century <strong>are</strong><br />

returning to our closets<br />

and shining down the<br />

streets of modern<br />

fashion. <strong>Black</strong> young<br />

adults <strong>are</strong> embracing and<br />

enhancing their features<br />

with these fashionable<br />

blasts from the past that<br />

<strong>are</strong> ‘<strong>Black</strong> like they never<br />

left’.<br />

AFROS<br />

Although our natural crowns have<br />

always been with us, this extravagant<br />

hairstyle gained its popularity in the<br />

1960s. Both men and women rocked this<br />

hairdo on the dance floors and in the<br />

streets all over the world. <strong>No</strong>w there <strong>are</strong><br />

even more men and women enhancing<br />

and rocking their ‘fros.<br />


In the 1960s, hoop earrings were brought<br />

to the forefront of fashion by celebrities<br />

such as Diana Ross, Angela Davis<br />

and Donna Summer. These earrings<br />

embraced the Afro-Centric look and<br />

made a shifting statement for <strong>Black</strong><br />

women. The trend has since resurfaced<br />

and is rocked by <strong>Black</strong> women both<br />

young and old.<br />


These cool hats <strong>are</strong> known to be the<br />

fashion piece that can go with anything!<br />

Bucket hats were made popular by<br />

hip-hop artists such as LL Cool J and<br />

Run-D.M.C. in the 1980s as one of their<br />

signature looks. Bucket hats <strong>are</strong> an<br />

essential accessory for throwback and<br />

retro outfits in the modern fashion<br />

world.<br />


Popularized in the 1990s, fanny packs<br />

became the most convenient and<br />

fashionable accessory. Although the<br />

trend died down in the early 2000s, the<br />

packs <strong>are</strong> back and as stylish as ever.<br />

Today, many of our favorite brands<br />

release their own styles of fanny packs.<br />


The trend of baggy pants began in the<br />

1930s. Yet, the trend really took off in the<br />

1990s and was listed as number seven<br />

in the 90 best trends. Throughout the<br />

90s and early 2000s, artists like Aaliyah<br />

and Ciara rocked this trend. <strong>No</strong>w, our<br />

generation has decided to bring this<br />

fashion trend back.<br />


Biker shorts were made popular in the<br />

1980s. During that time, celebrities such<br />

as Madonna and Princess Diana rocked<br />

these shorts. Today, biker shorts <strong>are</strong><br />

an essential fashion piece that is still<br />

trending. The sleek shorts can be paired<br />

with anklets, slides, and so much more.<br />


In the 1920s, turtlenecks trended as a<br />

professional and sleek piece that pulled<br />

together any outfit. In today’s fashion,<br />

turtlenecks can be easily dressed up<br />

or dressed down with a skirt or some<br />

slacks. Adding a nice chain with some<br />

hoop earrings to a turtleneck is like a<br />

match made in heaven!<br />

AIR FORCE 1’S<br />

These popular shoes hit the streets in<br />

1982 and still have all the buzz. White<br />

forces can be matched with anything<br />

and fit all styles. Even when creased or<br />

dirty by wear, these OG shoes <strong>are</strong> here<br />

to stay.<br />

ADIDAS<br />

Adidas has always been a popular<br />

athletic brand, but the company was<br />

best known for its street fashion in the<br />

1980s. Run-D.M.C. was the first music<br />

group endorsed by an athletic brand<br />

and created the hit song “My Adidas”’<br />

in 1986. Adidas still hasn’t gotten old<br />

and continues to dominate the fashion<br />

world with their shoes and clothing.<br />

FILA<br />

FILA, an Italian fashion brand created<br />

in 1911, became a popular brand in the<br />

late 1980s. During that time, many<br />

athletes wore FILA jogging suits<br />

as pre-game outfits and even street<br />

fashion. In today’s fashion world, FILA<br />

has remained relevant by releasing<br />

Disruptors, one of their most popular<br />

shoes.<br />

15 16


A<br />

labama has been the forefront of many historical<br />

acts including the civil rights movement. <strong>Black</strong><br />

history exudes throughout the state in cities such<br />

as: Montgomery, Selma, Birmingham, Tuskegee<br />

and Tuscaloosa. There <strong>are</strong> hundreds of museums,<br />

churches and other structures visitors can explore<br />

and learn about <strong>Black</strong> history. Although we <strong>are</strong><br />

currently in a global pandemic, many of these<br />

attractions have been altered to abide by social<br />

distancing and safety guidelines. Below is a list<br />

of some of the top <strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong> attractions in<br />

Alabama.<br />

Tuscaloosa Civil Rights <strong>History</strong> Trail<br />

Tuscaloosa, AL<br />

This trail was created to demonstrate Tuscaloosa’s<br />

place in civil rights history. The official trail starting<br />

point takes place at Capitol Park located on 6th<br />

Street. Tuscaloosa was the state capitol from 1826-<br />

1846. Capitol Park holds the remains of the former<br />

Alabama State Capitol building, which burned<br />

down in 1832. It was at this building where the<br />

state legislature met and enacted the slave codes in<br />

1833. The historic trail ends at the Howard-Linton<br />

Barbershop. This barbershop played an important<br />

role in the civil rights movement. <strong>Black</strong> ministers<br />

would meet here and plan their campaign on civil<br />

rights. It was also the place where protesters sought<br />

comfort after the attacks of “Bloody Tuesday.”<br />

Along the Civil Rights <strong>History</strong> trail visitors <strong>are</strong><br />

presented with markers that tell the stories of the<br />

civil rights movement and segregated businesses<br />

in the city.<br />

Birmingham Civil Rights District<br />

Birmingham, AL<br />

Birmingham served as another pivotal point of<br />

the civil rights movement in the 1960’s. This<br />

<strong>are</strong>a includes historic attractions such as: the<br />

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Kelly Ingram<br />

Park, and 16th St. Baptist Church. Kelly Ingram<br />

Park is surrounded by statues which depict fire<br />

hoses and police dogs being used against peaceful<br />

protestors. All of these attractions in this district<br />

show the difficult reality of the fight for equal<br />

rights.<br />

The National Memorial for Peace and<br />

Justice/Legacy Museum<br />

Montgomery, AL<br />

This is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the<br />

legacy of enslaved <strong>Black</strong> people, people terrorized<br />

by lynching and other acts of violence and injustice.<br />

The memorial was inspired by the work of the Equal<br />

Justice Initiative (EJI) which is a private non-profit<br />

organization. At this memorial people can gather<br />

and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality.<br />

The Legacy museum is built on the site of a former<br />

w<strong>are</strong>house where enslaved <strong>Black</strong> people were<br />

imprisoned. It is also located between a historic<br />

slave market and the main river dock and train<br />

station where thousands of enslaved people were<br />

auctioned and sold. The museum highlights the<br />

difficult reality of slavery, lynching and the Jim<br />

Crow South.<br />

National Voting Rights Museum<br />

Selma, AL<br />

This museum addresses the struggle and hardship<br />

that accompanied gaining voting rights and human<br />

equality. The museum is ironically located at the<br />

foot of the historic Edmund Pettus Bridge, which<br />

is where the brutal attacks of “Bloody Sunday” took<br />

place. Exhibits inside the museum detail events<br />

leading up to the Selma to Montgomery march.<br />

Some of them also provide brief history on the civil<br />

rights movement throughout the south.<br />

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site<br />

Tuskegee, AL<br />

The Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site was<br />

the training center for the first African American<br />

fighter and bomber pilots in the U.S. military.<br />

These pilots were famously known as the Red<br />

Tails. The historic site is located adjacent to Moton<br />

Field Municipal Airport. Moton Field was the only<br />

primary flight facility for African American pilots<br />

in the U.S. Army Air Corps during the second World<br />

War. At the site, visitors can enjoy exhibits that<br />

detail the story of training, life at camp and much<br />

more.<br />




ALABMA<br />

17 18

W<br />

ith an impressive resume<br />

reflective of her hard work<br />

and ambitions, Alexus Cumbie’s<br />

achievements showcase the drive she<br />

possesses and her tunnel vision of<br />

work ethic. Cumbie is trailblazing<br />

within her own right as a member<br />

of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority,<br />

Inc., lead digital strategist of Woke<br />

Vote and founder of Literary Vibes<br />

Birmingham. Aside from her list of<br />

accomplishments, the foundation of<br />

her work is very simple, “I think at my<br />

essence I am a person whose mission<br />

is to build ‘the beloved community’<br />

through art and southern culture and<br />

<strong>Black</strong> womanhood,” Cumbie stated.<br />


‘The Beloved Community,’ being<br />

the idea that we <strong>are</strong> all made in<br />

God’s image, reflects Cumbie’s work<br />

in speaking and advocating for<br />

marginalized communities along<br />

with giving voice to their stories. In<br />

addition to the belief of our sh<strong>are</strong>d<br />

image, Cumbie is driven by her belief<br />

of purpose for her work. “Honestly<br />

it’s above me. It’s something I’m here<br />

to do and I think that it’s very much<br />

one of the reasons that I’m on earth<br />

to do the work that I’ve been chosen<br />

to do.”<br />

Alexus Cumbie<br />

The beginnings of this chosen work,<br />

poetry, began accidentally when<br />

writing about her life developed into<br />

something more.<br />


“It was kind of an accident, when I<br />

started writing poetry. What came to<br />

me naturally was writing about my<br />

experiences which just so happened<br />

to be being a <strong>Black</strong> woman growing<br />

up in the Deep South. Because of that<br />

I realized how much of a story there<br />

was to tell which was way bigger than<br />

me,” Cumbie explained.<br />

This was expanded upon in<br />

elementary school when Cumbie was<br />

introduced to the novel, The Watsons<br />

Go to Birmingham. This novel gave<br />

her a reflection of sh<strong>are</strong>d experiences<br />

19 20


that was void in a whitewashed<br />

curriculum. “It was the first time that<br />

I read a book that reflected the life<br />

that I lived as a child growing up in<br />

Birmingham, or even just [as] a <strong>Black</strong><br />

child or a <strong>Black</strong> woman,” Cumbie said.<br />

Wanting a narrative that speaks<br />

to personal experiences and gives<br />

priority to one’s own community<br />

led to the formation of Cumbie’s<br />

Literary Vibes Birmingham, a live<br />

showcase of southern artists through<br />

their music and poetry that also<br />

focuses on increasing literacy rates<br />

in underserved communities.<br />







Focusing on the individuals and<br />

issues that <strong>are</strong> often overlooked or<br />

forgotten helped make Literary Vibes<br />

an important platform for southern<br />

artists to express their creativity and<br />

own their stories and experiences.<br />

“<strong>We</strong> have stories to tell and we’re not<br />

going to wait for people to give us a<br />

stage we’re going to make our own,”<br />

Cumbie said.<br />

Developing a space of one’s own has<br />

been furthered in Cumbie’s personal<br />

life by drawing strength from her<br />

own girl squad. “<strong>We</strong>’re a squad of<br />

<strong>Black</strong> women [from[ all walks of<br />

life [and] all different parts of the<br />

country. Honestly I’ve seen how we<br />

all came together with our individual<br />

burdens and have slowly been<br />

liberated from those burdens and<br />

those constraints that life has given<br />

us,” Cumbie explained.<br />

Building upon life experiences, both<br />

good or bad, <strong>are</strong> showcased through<br />

Cumbie’s work inside and outside of<br />

the academy. Each of her involvements<br />

represents her decision to speak<br />

about causes and individuals that<br />

<strong>are</strong> not given a platform. Through<br />

these interactions, she has learned<br />

the value of community and how<br />

impactful it can be when advocating<br />

for any cause. “I found that we have<br />

to build community to lift those<br />

burdens that we’re all suffering<br />

from. When you have community you<br />

have created this gathering place<br />

for sh<strong>are</strong>d human experience and<br />

the ability to communicate those<br />

experiences,” Cumbie stated.<br />

Communication plays a big role in<br />

Cumbie’s work and purpose. Through<br />

her poetry, she is able to voice these<br />

concerns and emotions fully and<br />

without the worry of her message<br />

being ignored or misconstrued. “The<br />

most important thing about poetry<br />

is that it’s a reminder that audiences<br />

have to listen,” Cumbie said. “<strong>We</strong> sort<br />

of control the conversation, and I<br />

believe there’s something beautiful in<br />

that, especially for communities who<br />

have historically not had voices [and]<br />

have not had those uninterrupted<br />

voices.”<br />

Cumbie utilizes her voice to further<br />

this narrative of the work being done<br />

in the South, creatively, politically<br />

and academically. Cumbie showcases<br />

the work of southern <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

and sends a message that goes against<br />

any misguided ideas and moves<br />

forward the goal to show others “to<br />

communicate how much <strong>Black</strong> women<br />

in the South should be appreciated<br />

and loved, how impactful we <strong>are</strong> and<br />

how much beauty lives inside of us<br />

when we’re allowed to be free.”<br />

21 22

ENTIAL<br />


zLS<br />







IC aaa<br />


The effects of residential segregation<br />

can still be observed in Montgomery<br />

Public Schools. This fact may come<br />

as a surprise; nevertheless, it is a<br />

persisting problem in Montgomery.<br />

Residential segregation is the<br />

discriminatory act of covertly<br />

separating two racial groups into<br />

different neighborhoods. Wait,<br />

segregation is illegal right? So, how<br />

does this issue still exist?Residential<br />

segregation is upheld by misinforming<br />

individuals and intentionally denying<br />

services relating to realty and<br />

financing. In this way, minorities <strong>are</strong><br />

limited to residing in neighborhoods<br />

that lack racial diversity.<br />

institutionalization of residential<br />

segregation.<br />

Minorities <strong>are</strong> significantly affected<br />

by residential segregation. Minority<br />

students often suffer academically as<br />

a result of this issue.<br />

Priscilla Collins worked at traditional<br />

public schools in Montgomery for 22<br />

years.<br />

This issue can be traced back to<br />

the Civil Rights Era. During that<br />

time, policies were established<br />

in Montgomery to make sure<br />

predominantly <strong>Black</strong> neighborhoods<br />

experienced drastic economic<br />

decline after white residents<br />

left the <strong>are</strong>a. Remnants of these<br />

policies still exist today through the<br />

“The racial demographics of my<br />

current school <strong>are</strong> approximately<br />

95% <strong>Black</strong>, 3% Hispanic and 2%white,”<br />

Collins says. The “ne<strong>are</strong>st school<br />

plan,” more commonly known as<br />

“school zoning,” leads to traditional<br />

public schools with higher dropout<br />

rates, lower standardized test scores<br />

and discipline issues.<br />

23 24



“There <strong>are</strong> several opportunities presented to magnet<br />

[students] that traditional students <strong>are</strong> lacking. Magnet<br />

students receive more invitations to extracurricular<br />

activities and social engagements. They have more<br />

community connections and alumni support,” Collins<br />

says. “There is inequity of supplies and low p<strong>are</strong>ntal<br />

involvement to name a few [for traditional schools].”<br />

Opal Khotsombath attended magnet schools in<br />

Montgomery for nine years. Khotsombath details the<br />

notable differences between magnet schools, traditional<br />

schools and private schools.<br />


Nick Powell attended traditional schools in Montgomery<br />

from first grade through tenth grade. He initially applied<br />

to a magnet school in response to criticism about his<br />

grades.<br />

“People said I couldn’t make good grades at a magnet<br />

school,” Powell says. He frequently dealt with people<br />

making assumptions about him solely because he attended<br />

a traditional school.<br />

IMPACT<br />

Residential segregation directly impacts Montgomery<br />

Public Schools in the form of school zoning. “School<br />

zoning is not fair,” Collins says. “Zoning is the catalyst for<br />

impoverished schools.”<br />


“Magnet schools generally offer a more challenging<br />

curriculum . . . [including] AP courses that allow students<br />

to earn college credit. Private schools definitely have<br />

easier access to more resources,” Khotsombath says. “I<br />

have family members who attended traditional schools<br />

that lacked a school staff to properly educate them about<br />

future opportunities such as how to afford attending<br />

college or who to consult to get such information.”<br />

Some zoned students <strong>are</strong> denied the ability to attend<br />

magnet schools even after applying. Students who <strong>are</strong><br />

denied often can not afford to attend private schools.<br />

Therefore, the only option they have for an education<br />

is to remain at a traditional school. In the Montgomery<br />

Public School system, 11 traditional schools <strong>are</strong> classified<br />

as failing by the Alabama Accountability Act.<br />

“There was an almost indescribable difference between<br />

traditional [schools] and magnet [schools],” Powell says.<br />

“Administration was even vocal about it, saying several<br />

times that ‘we do this for you all because y’all <strong>are</strong> magnet<br />

and we know y’all <strong>are</strong> worth it’.”<br />

Powell went into detail about his stark experience at a<br />

magnet school after previously attending traditional<br />

schools.<br />

“I don’t remember speaking to anyone from any college<br />

while at Lee [High School] & Lanier [High School], but<br />

I would need both hands and feet to count how many<br />

schools came to talk to us at Brewbaker Technology<br />

Magnet High School,” Powell says. “I vividly remember<br />

them stressing the importance of standardized testing<br />

and internships, but I don’t remember any mentioning of<br />

it at my previous two schools.”<br />

Residential segregation must be stopped in its tracks.<br />

This problem is leading to <strong>are</strong>as with concentrated<br />

poverty, crime and failing schools in Montgomery. The<br />

community must make an effort to address residential<br />

segregation to ensure the future safety and well-being of<br />

students and residents.<br />

“I am very aw<strong>are</strong> of the impact residential segregation<br />

has on Montgomery Public Schools. Traditional schools<br />

in less funded <strong>are</strong>as of the city or in parts of the city<br />

[with] a lower income range <strong>are</strong> less able to provide a wellrounded<br />

and nurturing education system.” Khotsombath<br />

says. “Over the years as a student, I don’t believe I saw any<br />

increase in attention or extra aid for these schools.”<br />

Over time, residential segregation will affect more citizens<br />

of Montgomery directly or indirectly. One of the indirect<br />

effects is Montgomery Public Schools’ accreditation being<br />

under review. If accreditation is lost not only <strong>are</strong> students<br />

in failing traditional schools affected but also those in<br />

magnet schools.<br />

Rather sooner than later, residential segregation must be<br />

taken off the back burner and dealt with. Resolving this<br />

issue requires time and preparation because this type of<br />

segregation is deeply rooted into Montgomery.<br />

People living in neighborhoods with significantly less<br />

poverty rates may not realize residential segregation<br />

is still a problem in Montgomery. The public must be<br />

educated about residential segregation and how it affects<br />

their community.<br />

Steps must be taken to make housing more accessible.<br />

Cities such as Chicago distribute housing vouchers<br />

to combat residential segregation. Housing vouchers<br />

help families move to safer neighborhoods with more<br />

opportunities. Through the distribution of aid from<br />

the government the affordability of better housing can<br />

become a reality.<br />

Housing vouchers and additional aid from the government<br />

<strong>are</strong> effective in other cities battling residential segregation.<br />

These methods may also be instrumental in overcoming<br />

residential segregation in Montgomery. Completely<br />

ridding Montgomery of residential segregation requires<br />

time and diligence.<br />

25 26




ALABAMA K-12<br />



The Alabama State Department of Education’s K-12 curriculum does not<br />

include <strong>Black</strong> history. The exclusion of <strong>Black</strong> history from the curriculum<br />

diminishes the numerous contributions of African Americans throughout the<br />

past and present. Historically, school curriculums initially upheld the ideology<br />

of white supremacy. Current school curriculums resemble the past system<br />

that allowed unjust notions of racial superiority to persist. Tara Dean taught<br />

at Monroe County Public Schools for 18 years. Dean, a tenth grade teacher,<br />

explains most of her students do not have a thorough understanding of <strong>Black</strong><br />

history outside of slavery and the civil rights movement. If <strong>Black</strong> history was<br />

a requirement in the Alabama K-12 curriculum Dean believes “more people<br />

would value <strong>Black</strong> lives and <strong>Black</strong> students would have role models they could<br />

identify with.”<br />


The Alabama State Department of<br />

Education’s K-12 curriculum guide<br />

lists social studies standards and<br />

instructional objectives:<br />

Kindergarten – Self and Family<br />

First Grade – Exploring Our<br />

Community and State<br />

Second Grade – Exploring Our<br />

Nation and World: People<br />

and Places<br />

Third Grade – People, Places and<br />

Regions: Geographic<br />

Studies<br />

Fourth Grade – Alabama Studies<br />

Fifth Grade – United States<br />

Studies: Beginnings to 1877<br />

<strong>Six</strong>th Grade – United States<br />

Studies: 1877 to the Present<br />

Seventh Grade – Citizenship;<br />

Geography<br />

Eighth Grade – World <strong>History</strong> to<br />

1500<br />

Ninth Grade – World <strong>History</strong>:<br />

1500 to the Present<br />

Tenth Grade – United States<br />

<strong>History</strong> to 1877<br />

Eleventh Grade – United States<br />

<strong>History</strong>: 1877 to the<br />

Present<br />

Twelfth Grade – Economics;<br />

United States Government<br />


RACISM<br />

The curriculum guide does not<br />

incorporate <strong>Black</strong> history<br />

into any of the grade levels.<br />

Alabama school curriculums created<br />

during segregation were built on<br />

a system of oppression and white<br />

supremacy. Therefore, the creation<br />

of white false heroes was prevalent<br />

within textbooks and school<br />

lessons. The current Alabama school<br />

curriculum still contains remnants<br />

from past curriculums.<br />

Alaceia Taylor is a recent graduate<br />

from Montgomery Public Schools.<br />

“Most Alabama school curriculums<br />

revolve around American history,”<br />

Taylor says. “Everything has been<br />

changed in a way so that white<br />

history is the dominant history and if<br />

it didn’t pertain to white Americans<br />

it wasn’t a requirement.”<br />

<strong>History</strong> books in the Alabama<br />

curriculum idealize and glorify white<br />

oppressors such as Christopher<br />

Columbus. Columbus murdered<br />

and enslaved millions of Indigenous<br />

people and was not the first person to<br />

discover America. Historical evidence<br />

proves Columbus was among the last<br />

explorers to reach America. So, why is<br />

he one of the first explorers students<br />

learn about in history classes? “Most<br />

lessons [were] misconstrued to make<br />

sure caucasians were painted as<br />

savior[s]. Growing up we were taught<br />

that Christopher Columbus was the<br />

greatest man on Earth but in reality<br />

he started a mass genocide,” says<br />

Taylor.<br />


“Schools never digged deeper into<br />

<strong>Black</strong> history. Typically we learned<br />

about Dr. Martin Luther King and<br />

Malcom X,” Taylor says. “<strong>Black</strong> history<br />

was not deemed important based on<br />

societal standards in America.” From<br />

elementary school to high school,<br />

students can not recall instances<br />

where <strong>Black</strong> historical figures were<br />

referenced in history classes. There<br />

<strong>are</strong> numerous notable <strong>Black</strong> people<br />

who typically <strong>are</strong> not acknowledged<br />

in schools. Richard Allen, Robert<br />

Abbott, Benjamin Davis Sr.,<br />

Katherine Johnson, Matthew Henson<br />

and Charlotte E. Ray <strong>are</strong> a few of the<br />

numerous <strong>Black</strong> historical figures in<br />

American <strong>History</strong>. Olaudah Equiano,<br />

Queen Charlotte, Chevalier de<br />

Saint-Georges and Allan Glaisyer<br />

Minns <strong>are</strong> just a few of the <strong>Black</strong><br />

historical figures who notably<br />

impacted European <strong>History</strong>. This<br />

has only touched the surface of the<br />

vast amount of <strong>Black</strong> history school<br />

curriculums do not include nor teach.<br />

“I grew up in the Alabama school<br />

system and I was not properly<br />

educated on African American<br />

history. It is extremely detrimental<br />

to the education of brilliant minds,”<br />

Aniyah Fleets-Giles says. “Education<br />

is power. Those in power know that<br />

history will hold us accountable...<br />

without such knowledge, people <strong>are</strong><br />

more likely to remain bound.”<br />



Alabama schools attempt to justify<br />

the lack of <strong>Black</strong> history in the<br />

curriculum with <strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong> Month.<br />

President Gerald Ford officially<br />

recognized <strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong> Month in<br />

1976, calling upon the public to “seize<br />

the opportunity to honor the toooften<br />

neglected accomplishments of<br />

<strong>Black</strong> Americans in every <strong>are</strong>a of<br />

endeavor throughout our history.”<br />

Taylor explains her experience at<br />

school during <strong>Black</strong> history month.<br />

“Most of my classmates did not<br />

appreciate <strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong> Month,<br />

especially in high school. Many<br />

students and teachers voiced the<br />

<strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong> Month program was<br />

‘too much’ or racist,” Taylor says.<br />

“They often questioned why an<br />

entire month had to be dedicated to<br />

African American history. There was<br />

unnecessary animosity towards the<br />

one thing that <strong>Black</strong> students had<br />

to look forward to –<strong>Black</strong> <strong>History</strong><br />

Month.” The lack of <strong>Black</strong> history in<br />

the Alabama K-12 school curriculum<br />

allows for the pervasiveness of<br />

racially insensitive students. “Last<br />

year a student went viral for saying<br />

that George Floyd and other <strong>Black</strong><br />

people deserve to die because we<br />

commit more crimes. He actually<br />

tried to use statistics to back up his<br />

information,” Taylor says. “He also<br />

told me that I have no right to be<br />

upset about slavery and segregation<br />

because I didn’t live in that era. But<br />

my grandma who is very much still<br />

alive lived through segregation and<br />

she tells me about all the backlash<br />

she faced during that time.”<br />


Students turn to alternate sources<br />

to learn about <strong>Black</strong> history that<br />

is absent from the Alabama K-12<br />

school curriculum. The internet and<br />

social media <strong>are</strong> a few of the sources<br />

students seek out. “Surprisingly<br />

TikTok can be very informative. I’ve<br />

learned so much from TikTok about<br />

history in a couple of months than<br />

I learned in my four years of high<br />

school.” Taylor says. The education<br />

system is one of the tools Alabama<br />

can use to build a future where racial<br />

injustice is not tolerated. Students<br />

must be accurately informed about<br />

the contributions of <strong>Black</strong> historical<br />

figures from around the world. The<br />

lack of <strong>Black</strong> representation in the<br />

Alabama K-12 school curriculum is<br />

an issue we must address and push<br />

to be reformed because <strong>Black</strong> history<br />

matters.<br />

27 28

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!