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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 2, <strong>2023</strong><br />

VOLUME CXXX | ISSUE V<br />

LOCAL<br />

HISTORY<br />

CW / Natalie Marburger<br />

‘I’m just so damn tired of small steps’:<br />

UA community discusses new congressional map<br />

Rachel Seale<br />

Staff Writer<br />

After a monthslong<br />

process that saw<br />

multiple plans from the<br />

Republican-majority<br />

Legislature rejected by<br />

federal judges, a new map<br />

has been proposed. While<br />

many Black Alabamians<br />

say progress is beginning<br />

to be made, some say it’s<br />

still not enough.<br />

“I guess it’s a small step<br />

in the right direction. I’m<br />

just so damn tired of small<br />

steps, though,” Cassandra<br />

Simon, associate professor<br />

of social work and Agency,<br />

Advocacy and Equity<br />

Committee chair of UA’s<br />

Black Faculty and Staff<br />

Winter<br />

MESTER<br />

Association, said while<br />

discussing Alabama’s<br />

newest congressional<br />

district map — a map<br />

that includes only one<br />

majority-Black and<br />

one near majority-<br />

Black district — as the<br />

2024 election season<br />

approaches.<br />

District 2, the new near<br />

majority-Black district,<br />

was created by a panel of<br />

three appointed federal<br />

judges in October after<br />

the Supreme Court found<br />

that the state’s original<br />

congressional map<br />

violated the Voting Rights<br />

Act of 1965.<br />

REGISTER NOW!<br />

Redistricting happens<br />

every 10 years after<br />

the national census is<br />

completed to ensure<br />

districts reflect any<br />

population changes.<br />

SEE PAGE 2A<br />

TO LEARN MORE, VISIT SHELTONSTATE.EDU/WINTERMESTER.<br />

INSIDE NEWS 2A CULTURE 5A SPORTS 1B OPINIONS 5B


2A<br />

news<br />

continued from 1A — congressional map<br />

<strong>The</strong> newest district<br />

now consists of a<br />

48.7% Black voting-age<br />

population, making<br />

it easier for Black<br />

Alabamians, who make<br />

up 27% of the state’s<br />

population, to elect<br />

a representative who<br />

reflects their beliefs<br />

and community.<br />

“It’s not about just<br />

getting a Black person,”<br />

Simon said. “It’s<br />

somebody who is going<br />

to stand up for Black<br />

people and Black rights,<br />

and understand their<br />

issues and what they’re<br />

going through.”<br />

Simon said that even<br />

with the newly created<br />

near majority-Black<br />

District 2, she doesn’t<br />

have much confidence<br />

that someone who<br />

accurately represents<br />

the Black population<br />

will be elected.<br />

She said that the<br />

new map still stifles<br />

Black voters’ voices<br />

by reducing their<br />

legislative power<br />

relative to other voters.<br />

Simon also said<br />

that young people<br />

need to learn about<br />

the history of voting<br />

rights during the Civil<br />

Rights Movement to<br />

examine the tactics that<br />

prevented minorities<br />

from voting, as well<br />

as learn how they<br />

can become civically<br />

minded and get<br />

involved with politics.<br />

“You have to be<br />

able to connect that<br />

historical past with the<br />

present,” Simon said.<br />

“Even research shows<br />

that the more people<br />

learn about the true<br />

history of this country,<br />

the more first personal<br />

agency young adults<br />

begin to feel."<br />

Enrijeta Shino,<br />

assistant professor<br />

of political science,<br />

said the original map<br />

consisted of one<br />

majority-Black district<br />

in District 7, which<br />

was determined to be<br />

unlawful. Shino argued<br />

that the old map did not<br />

accurately reflect the<br />

state’s Black population<br />

and instead packed<br />

Black voters into a<br />

single district.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> new map<br />

is giving African<br />

American[s] in those<br />

two districts at least<br />

the opportunity to be<br />

able to vote for the<br />

representatives that<br />

they prefer,” Shino said.<br />

Republicans<br />

currently hold six of<br />

the state’s seven seats<br />

in the House, but Shino<br />

said the new map<br />

could allow a second<br />

Democrat to be elected.<br />

Makenzie Smith,<br />

a junior majoring in<br />

political science and<br />

resident of District<br />

7, described the new<br />

congressional map<br />

as empowering,<br />

especially for Black<br />

voters who have been<br />

disenfranchised or<br />

victimized.<br />

“I think it really<br />

makes me feel as<br />

though my voice truly<br />

will matter,” Smith said.<br />

Zaraph Greene, a<br />

junior majoring in<br />

political science, said<br />

the new map is still<br />

disappointing.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re’s still a lot<br />

to be done,” Greene<br />

said. “We need another<br />

district.”<br />

Dawson Wilcox,<br />

a senior majoring in<br />

political science and<br />

the policy coordinator<br />

of Vote Everywhere,<br />

wrote in an email that<br />

the significance of the<br />

new map cannot be<br />

overstated.<br />

Wilcox, who lives in<br />

the newly drawn District<br />

2, said Vote Everywhere<br />

is a nonpartisan<br />

student organization<br />

that promotes student<br />

participation in<br />

democracy.<br />

“Going from a district<br />

where competitiveness<br />

only occurred in one<br />

party’s primary to<br />

a district that will<br />

not only accurately<br />

represent the electorate<br />

but will also be subject<br />

to national attention is<br />

very exciting,” Wilcox<br />

wrote. “I am looking<br />

forward to working<br />

and voting in my new<br />

district.”<br />

Wilcox said Vote<br />

Everywhere is an<br />

initiative of the Andrew<br />

Goodman Foundation.<br />

Goodman was a voting<br />

rights activist who<br />

helped register Black<br />

voters and participated<br />

in the Freedom Summer<br />

of 1964; he was<br />

murdered by the Ku<br />

Klux Klan the<br />

same year.<br />

“We support<br />

national policies,<br />

such as the Freedom<br />

to Vote Act, which<br />

would ban partisan<br />

gerrymandering,” Wilcox<br />

said. “We also continue<br />

to work and honor<br />

the legacy of Andrew<br />

Goodman.”<br />

Braden Vick, a<br />

junior majoring in<br />

political science and<br />

the communications<br />

director for <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama<br />

College Democrats, said<br />

the newly drawn District<br />

2 map represents an<br />

opportunity for Black<br />

voters and college<br />

students in the area to<br />

elect a representative<br />

who reflects their<br />

values.<br />

“I am ecstatic for<br />

students of South<br />

Alabama, Troy, Tuskegee,<br />

Auburn University [at]<br />

Montgomery and other<br />

universities in this<br />

second district, who<br />

have the opportunity<br />

now to have their voices<br />

matter in a district that<br />

is going to be viewed as<br />

competitive, especially<br />

in midterm elections,”<br />

Vick said.<br />

However, Vick’s<br />

enthusiasm for the new<br />

district is not without<br />

concern. While he’s<br />

uncertain whether the<br />

new map will increase<br />

voters’ confidence in<br />

the election system,<br />

given the map was<br />

created only as a result<br />

of a federal directive, he<br />

does think confidence<br />

in the federal<br />

government’s ability<br />

to create change for<br />

Black Alabamians may<br />

increase.<br />

David Hughes, an<br />

associate professor<br />

of political science at<br />

Auburn University at<br />

Montgomery, said the<br />

original map that was<br />

drawn in 2021 slightly<br />

shifted the district lines<br />

but kept the majority of<br />

districts the same as the<br />

2011 map.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> lawsuit was<br />

filed under Section 2 of<br />

the Voting Rights Act of<br />

1965, alleging that the<br />

state should be forced<br />

to draw an additional<br />

majority-Black district<br />

or something close to<br />

it,” Hughes said.<br />

While the Alabama<br />

Legislature held a<br />

special session this<br />

summer to redraw<br />

the map, the federal<br />

courts ruled that the<br />

second proposed map<br />

still failed to meet the<br />

requirements of the<br />

Voting Rights Act.<br />

Hughes said the<br />

federal courts met to<br />

determine the current<br />

map, which will be<br />

going into effect for the<br />

2024 election cycle.<br />

Hughes said he<br />

thinks this change<br />

may create more faith<br />

in institutions since<br />

voters may see someone<br />

who looks like them<br />

representing them on<br />

the ballot, a concept<br />

commonly referred<br />

to as descriptive<br />

representation.<br />

“A lot of my students<br />

who are more leftleaning<br />

are certainly<br />

excited by the prospect<br />

of having a Democratic<br />

representative,<br />

especially a Black<br />

representative for the<br />

first time in their lives if<br />

they live in the second<br />

congressional district,”<br />

Hughes said.<br />

Most of Hughes’<br />

students were not<br />

even alive the last<br />

time Alabama had any<br />

major changes to its<br />

congressional district<br />

lines, in 1991.<br />

Shino said she<br />

thinks the new map<br />

will help increase Black<br />

voters’ faith in the<br />

institution of voting, as<br />

well as mobilize future<br />

Democratic candidates’<br />

campaigns in these<br />

districts.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>ir vote matters<br />

and their vote counts,”<br />

Shino said.<br />

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news<br />

‘No longer lying’:<br />

What the Hallowed Grounds tours mean to campus<br />

Makayla Maxwell<br />

Race and Identity<br />

Reporter<br />

<strong>The</strong> Department of Gender<br />

and Race Studies and<br />

Black Faculty and Staff<br />

Association Ambassadors<br />

have collaborated since 2015<br />

to run the Hallowed<br />

Grounds tours.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se tours aim to<br />

educate students and<br />

community members<br />

about the University’s long<br />

history of slavery and how it<br />

connects to existing campus<br />

structures.<br />

JaiOnna Terry, a graduate<br />

student in the Department<br />

of Gender and Race Studies,<br />

helps guide the tours. Terry<br />

said that each tour’s stops<br />

can vary depending on the<br />

person facilitating it, but<br />

it usually begins with the<br />

Gorgas House and ends with<br />

the slave cemetery.<br />

“For me, personally, I talk<br />

about a spot of activism<br />

that’s right outside of<br />

Presidents Hall,” Terry said.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> bricks that are laid out<br />

around there [are] salvaged<br />

bricks from the destruction<br />

of campus. So of course,<br />

enslaved people have<br />

touched these bricks. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

handprints are still on these<br />

bricks, and the University<br />

wants to put their enslavers’<br />

names on top of these bricks,<br />

like Manly, Garland, Wood.”<br />

Erin Stoneking, an<br />

assistant professor in the<br />

Department of Gender and<br />

Race Studies, helps schedule<br />

the tours, as well as train the<br />

graduate students and BFSA<br />

Ambassadors who facilitate<br />

them. In her experience,<br />

responses to the tour have<br />

been very positive.<br />

“People respond<br />

enthusiastically to it. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

a lot that gets revealed that<br />

I think people are sort of<br />

shocked is not part of a larger<br />

conversation,” Stoneking<br />

said.<br />

Stoneking gave the history<br />

of the Mound on the Quad<br />

as an example of a piece<br />

of campus history most<br />

students are unfamiliar with.<br />

According to her, the Mound<br />

was first established after the<br />

destruction of campus during<br />

the Civil War and became a<br />

marker of the antebellum<br />

period.<br />

“During that<br />

Reconstruction period, it was<br />

a symbol of the old South<br />

and the lost cause,” she said.<br />

“Yet that is used as a literal<br />

platform for recognizing the<br />

best and brightest students<br />

on campus.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> Mound is the location<br />

of the annual Tapping on the<br />

Mound ceremony, during<br />

which honor societies induct<br />

new members and the<br />

achievements of students<br />

and faculty are recognized.<br />

DeCarlos Caple Jr., a<br />

junior majoring in computer<br />

engineering, is a current<br />

BFSA Ambassador, and he<br />

said the tours have made<br />

him look at the campus a bit<br />

differently.<br />

“Something from the tours<br />

that’s surprising to everyone<br />

is at Smith Hall: the bullet<br />

holes still there that aren’t<br />

covered up,” he said. “But<br />

they really help show the<br />

history, so I’m glad it’s not<br />

covered up.”<br />

Terry attributed the<br />

success of the tours to Hilary<br />

Green, who began the tours<br />

during her time working at<br />

the University from 2014<br />

to 2022 as an associate<br />

professor of history.<br />

Green said the project<br />

began as an attempt to reflect<br />

on the lives of enslaved<br />

individuals who helped<br />

build the campus but were<br />

not honored during their<br />

lives. She currently works<br />

at Davidson College as the<br />

James B. Duke Professor of<br />

Africana studies.<br />

Green said she began to<br />

research the campus’s history<br />

of enslavement after a<br />

student in one of her classes<br />

did not see the purpose of<br />

studying it. She looked into<br />

the University’s archives and<br />

realized that creating a tour<br />

for her students might be the<br />

best way to teach this side of<br />

its history.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> tour was created<br />

to fit in a class period of a<br />

Tuesday/Thursday class,”<br />

Green said. “So we walked<br />

the campus as part of one<br />

of the lectures. That was the<br />

goal. It just expanded well<br />

beyond that, and by the time<br />

I left, I had reached over 5,500<br />

individuals in person.”<br />

Once Green got permission<br />

from Utz McKnight, the<br />

chair of the Department of<br />

Gender and Race Studies,<br />

she began to recruit students<br />

and alumni, and pressure<br />

grew for the University to<br />

make the tours more widely<br />

available.<br />

Nowadays, tours are led<br />

in large part by student<br />

members of the BFSA<br />

Ambassadors.<br />

Green made sure that<br />

when she left, the tours<br />

were still being facilitated by<br />

graduate students within the<br />

Department of Gender and<br />

Race Studies.<br />

“I wanted to make sure the<br />

tour was still being done, but<br />

by students who would get<br />

it as either credits but also<br />

work-study,” Green said. “So<br />

students are able to get paid<br />

to do the work and not have<br />

their labor extracted and<br />

exploited, especially students<br />

of color and marginalized<br />

communities in a system<br />

talking about enslavement on<br />

the campus.”<br />

Despite her goal, BFSA<br />

Ambassadors are currently<br />

not paid for these tours.<br />

Earlier this year, the SGA<br />

urged the University to<br />

compensate the students<br />

who host the tours, to no<br />

avail.<br />

<strong>The</strong> history of the tour has<br />

not been without controversy.<br />

Even at the tour’s inception,<br />

Green experienced a lot<br />

of pushback from some<br />

students, faculty and<br />

community members.<br />

“Some of the pushback I<br />

got was from other faculty<br />

who did not feel that this<br />

information should be<br />

told,” she said. “One faculty<br />

member in particular said,<br />

‘Well, we gave them<br />

a marker.’”<br />

According to Green, a<br />

few students and faculty<br />

members wrote letters<br />

to President Stuart Bell<br />

attempting to stop the<br />

tours. Despite this, she felt<br />

immense support from most<br />

people as she continued.<br />

“I got emails from former<br />

Bama football players turned<br />

NFL coaches, and I kept all<br />

of those for when I needed<br />

it. Other Black alum, other<br />

3A<br />

students going into the<br />

community,” Green said.<br />

“So there was pushback, but<br />

there was a lot of support.<br />

I like to say I was tolerated<br />

rather than accepted by the<br />

administration.”<br />

To Green, the tours are<br />

important because they<br />

showcase sides of campus<br />

history that she argues the<br />

University is not forthcoming<br />

about.<br />

“One of the things the<br />

Hallowed Grounds tour<br />

means to me is we are no<br />

longer lying to students and<br />

faculty and other community<br />

members who come on<br />

the campus and are told in<br />

various ways that this past<br />

has not shaped current race<br />

relations on the campus,”<br />

Green said.<br />

Green believes that the<br />

tours are one way the school<br />

has aimed to reckon with its<br />

history.<br />

“Is our history perfect?<br />

No,” Green said. “But<br />

we’re not the same. It’s<br />

not the same campus of<br />

enslavement. So who were<br />

the people who made these<br />

changes? Because it wasn’t<br />

the administration; it was<br />

people. How can they be<br />

role models for students<br />

who might not feel that they<br />

belong today? <strong>The</strong>y can see<br />

that history and resilience<br />

and find a way to continue<br />

and to persist.”<br />

Anyone interested in<br />

attending a tour can visit the<br />

Department of Gender and<br />

Race Studies’ website and<br />

schedule a tour by emailing<br />

Stoneking. All of Green’s<br />

research can be found online,<br />

along with materials for a<br />

self-guided tour.


4A<br />

news<br />

Ahmahdre Turner<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

On June 12, 1973, a<br />

group of 30 students<br />

and members of <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama<br />

community came together<br />

for the first time to create<br />

a “solid, visible<br />

gay community.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> organization,<br />

GAZE, highlighted its first<br />

meeting in <strong>The</strong> Queen City<br />

Sometimes, a publication<br />

that debuted June 28, 1973,<br />

the fourth anniversary<br />

of the Stonewall Riots.<br />

It also included the<br />

personal accounts of<br />

Lynn Johnson and Ed<br />

Wallace, who shared their<br />

personal experiences<br />

in their sexuality to<br />

provide recipients of the<br />

newsletter an essence of<br />

relatability in hopes of<br />

continuing growth in<br />

the organization.<br />

According to an<br />

April 1983 news article<br />

by Jack Wheat of the<br />

Tuscaloosa News, “the<br />

purpose of the group was<br />

to debunk myths about<br />

homosexuality and to<br />

provide a support group.”<br />

Forty years later, GAZE<br />

is now named the Queer<br />

Student Association and<br />

the organization has one<br />

clear goal in mind: to<br />

create a more inclusive<br />

campus for LGBTQ+<br />

students.<br />

Underrepresented in the South:<br />

How UA LGBTQ+ students created their community<br />

“<strong>The</strong> reason for<br />

our name change is to<br />

promote inclusivity and to<br />

give a little more direction<br />

into the organization,”<br />

said Sean Atchison, the<br />

president of the Queer<br />

Student Association. “QSA<br />

has always been about two<br />

words: connection and<br />

action. We pair those two<br />

pretty well as we reach our<br />

40-year anniversary.”<br />

In its early days, the<br />

organization struggled to<br />

earn formal recognition by<br />

the University. This lasted<br />

until Sept. 6, 1983, when<br />

<strong>The</strong> University of Alabama<br />

formally recognized<br />

the Gay Student Union,<br />

making it the first official<br />

LGBTQ+ student group in<br />

the state.<br />

Young Americans for<br />

Freedom, a conservative<br />

student group at the<br />

University, petitioned<br />

protesting the recognition<br />

of the GSU in 1983, saying<br />

that such behavior would<br />

encourage the violation of<br />

Alabama state laws.<br />

Amid the petition<br />

and YAF’s threats of a<br />

lawsuit, the GSU and<br />

other gay communities<br />

across the country<br />

were also responding to<br />

conversations about the<br />

AIDS epidemic.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se efforts to combat<br />

the epidemic extended<br />

far past campus into local<br />

organizations such as West<br />

Alabama AIDS Outreach,<br />

which eventually became<br />

Five Horizons Health<br />

Services.<br />

“When West Alabama<br />

AIDS Outreach was<br />

born, that is local people<br />

that are organizing to<br />

support local HIV positive<br />

people. ... <strong>The</strong>y’re all local<br />

people, most of them not<br />

medical professionals,<br />

just concerned friends<br />

and lovers and sisters<br />

and brothers,” said Joshua<br />

Burford, archivist and<br />

director of outreach for the<br />

Invisible Histories Project,<br />

a nonprofit organization<br />

that documents Southern<br />

LGBTQ+ history.<br />

In the ’90s, West<br />

Alabama AIDS Outreach<br />

began publishing a<br />

newsletter called <strong>The</strong><br />

Ankh that was focused on,<br />

in Burford’s words, getting<br />

“as much relevant, correct<br />

information out to the<br />

public as they could.”<br />

This type of community<br />

support allowed the GSU<br />

to grow into a larger role<br />

on campus and in the<br />

local area.<br />

“At age 72, I have done<br />

a lot of looking back,”<br />

David Miller, the GSU’s<br />

first faculty adviser, said.<br />

“But my involvement with<br />

GSU is a memory I cherish<br />

and take pride in. It just<br />

took the country a few<br />

decades to catch up.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> University’s<br />

LGBTQ+ student<br />

organization has presently<br />

seen a total of eight<br />

name changes since 1983.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se name changes<br />

have followed a constant<br />

evolution of efforts to<br />

include LGBTQ+ identities.<br />

<strong>The</strong> GSU was renamed<br />

Gay/Lesbian Support<br />

Services on Feb. 10,<br />

1985, by group decision<br />

including David van der<br />

Griff, the active president<br />

of the organization.<br />

“Obviously, GSU did<br />

not say ‘lesbian,’ so some<br />

women didn’t think it<br />

was an accurate name,”<br />

van der Griff said. “Also,<br />

members felt we were<br />

more than a student<br />

organization. We provided<br />

support and services.<br />

Hence, the name G/LSS.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> organization,<br />

since then, has changed<br />

its name six more times,<br />

responding “to what the<br />

needs of the students<br />

[were] at that time,”<br />

Burford said.<br />

According to the Queer<br />

Alabama History website,<br />

John M. Giggie, director of<br />

the Summersell Center for<br />

the Study of the South, led<br />

a student group in the first<br />

research seminar in queer<br />

history offered by <strong>The</strong><br />

University of Alabama.<br />

“A lot of people don’t<br />

remember the past,”<br />

said Russell Howard, the<br />

president of the University<br />

of Alabama LGBTQ Alumni<br />

Association. “This is an<br />

educational process, and<br />

it’s slowly getting better<br />

because of the people who<br />

came before us.”<br />

Although Howard<br />

wasn’t involved with<br />

the LGBTQ+ student<br />

organization during his<br />

time as a UA student, he<br />

still wanted to “find a way<br />

to leave this place a little<br />

bit better for the ones who<br />

come after.”<br />

Sure enough, the<br />

LGBTQ+ students that<br />

came to the University<br />

after Howard continued to<br />

make his dream of a more<br />

inclusive campus a reality.<br />

<strong>The</strong> organization<br />

continues to hold annual<br />

events such as Shantay,<br />

UA and the State of the<br />

Queer Union.<br />

To many, the<br />

preservation of queer<br />

history is essential to<br />

combating stereotypes,<br />

misconceptions and<br />

misinformation.<br />

“We’re building<br />

collections so that our<br />

community can have<br />

something that it’s never<br />

had, which is the physical<br />

record of who we have<br />

been and what we’ve done,<br />

accomplished, lost and<br />

gained,” Burford said. “To<br />

queer people, it is<br />

a necessity.”<br />

To read the complete<br />

version of this<br />

story, please visit<br />

thecrimsonwhite.com<br />

Modern challenges Alabama’s diverse natural history<br />

Alex Gravlee<br />

Staff Writer<br />

Environmental issues<br />

are a recurring concern<br />

for Tuscaloosa community<br />

members, as seen in<br />

recent efforts to protect<br />

water quality and combat<br />

pollution in the Black<br />

Warrior River.<br />

Although Alabama is<br />

widely recognized for its<br />

biodiversity, many of the<br />

state’s residents find that<br />

preserving and defending<br />

the natural landscape<br />

presents its own set<br />

of challenges.<br />

Preserving early<br />

history<br />

During much of Earth’s<br />

early history, Alabama was<br />

mostly ocean, but over<br />

time, fossils and other<br />

deposits layered and gave<br />

rise to extensive caves. As<br />

of 2007, Alabama had more<br />

than 4,200 discovered<br />

caves, according to the<br />

Alabama Cave Survey<br />

of 2007.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se fossils continue<br />

to inspire citizens to<br />

pursue paleontology to<br />

satisfy their curiosity<br />

about the past, including<br />

Jim Braswell, the<br />

president of the Alabama<br />

Paleontological Society,<br />

an organization dedicated<br />

to expanding and<br />

disseminating knowledge<br />

about Alabama’s fossils<br />

and natural history.<br />

Braswell said he has<br />

been interested in fossils<br />

since he was a child. He<br />

attributes his interest to<br />

growing up in a family of<br />

rock collectors in northern<br />

Alabama, a region<br />

containing many<br />

Paleozoic fossils.<br />

“I got to go looking for<br />

fossils ... with my family,<br />

my older brothers, my<br />

father, and then I was just<br />

hooked,” Braswell said.<br />

When he married,<br />

Braswell returned to his<br />

hobby of paleontology. He<br />

said he has an incredible<br />

time working with<br />

professionals and traveling<br />

the state in search<br />

of fossils.<br />

“It’s just fun being<br />

out there,” Braswell<br />

said. “If you know what<br />

you're kind of looking<br />

for, anybody can go out<br />

there and find something<br />

that’s absolutely new to<br />

science and make a huge<br />

discovery.”<br />

When tectonic<br />

collisions created the<br />

supercontinent of Pangaea<br />

around 300 million years<br />

ago, they created the<br />

Appalachian Mountains,<br />

whose southern terminus<br />

makes up the Talladega<br />

ranges seen in northeast<br />

Alabama.<br />

“Alabama is an<br />

amazing state,” Braswell<br />

said. “When you look<br />

at north Alabama, we<br />

have fossils covering the<br />

entire Paleozoic with the<br />

exception of the Permian<br />

period, and ... just an<br />

incredible amount of<br />

fossiliferous rocks.”<br />

Water flowing from the<br />

mountains helped carve<br />

Alabama’s landscape even<br />

more and even broke apart<br />

and deposited quartz<br />

along the modern-day<br />

coastline. This gave rise<br />

to Alabama’s white, sandy<br />

beaches.<br />

Around 34 million to<br />

35 million years ago, the<br />

southern portion of the<br />

state was flooded with<br />

water, making it a haven<br />

for aquatic life. This<br />

is where many fossils,<br />

including Basilosaurus<br />

cetoides, Alabama’s state<br />

fossil, were found. <strong>The</strong><br />

Basilosaurus cetoides can<br />

be found at the Alabama<br />

Museum of Natural<br />

History on campus.<br />

Conservation and<br />

defending wildlife<br />

U.S. expansion<br />

during the 19th century<br />

disturbed ecosystems and<br />

created some concern for<br />

Alabama’s wildlife and<br />

natural landscape, which<br />

were greatly affected.<br />

Over time, the U.S.<br />

government began<br />

setting aside land for<br />

conservation, including<br />

national parks and forests.<br />

According to Matthew<br />

Capps, the deputy<br />

director of Alabama<br />

State Parks under the<br />

Alabama Department<br />

of Conservation and<br />

Natural Resources, the<br />

federal government<br />

granted states land to<br />

build national parks, but<br />

many of these projects<br />

were left unfinished<br />

when the United States<br />

entered World War II.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se abandoned projects<br />

became state parks, with<br />

Cheaha Resort State Park<br />

being Alabama’s first.<br />

Capps said the<br />

biodiversity of Alabama<br />

makes visiting the parks<br />

especially rewarding.<br />

“Finding love with<br />

the natural resources<br />

we have available in<br />

Alabama, being one of<br />

the most diverse states<br />

in the country, and ...<br />

they provide something<br />

for us to do and find new<br />

experiences every time we<br />

go out,” Capps said.<br />

Despite Alabama<br />

citizens’ conservation<br />

efforts, including the 1935<br />

formation of the Alabama<br />

Wildlife Federation, which<br />

sought to prevent the<br />

overhunting of wildlife,<br />

Alabama wildlife still faces<br />

challenges today.<br />

Kevin Anson, the chief<br />

marine biologist at the<br />

CW / Shelby West<br />

Wildlife and Freshwater<br />

Fisheries Division in<br />

the Department of<br />

Conservation and Natural<br />

Resources, said one of the<br />

most challenging parts<br />

of conserving wildlife<br />

is communicating the<br />

meaning of the data and<br />

analytics the department<br />

provides as to why certain<br />

species are regulated.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> biggest challenge<br />

is getting people on board,<br />

so to speak, or to reconcile<br />

maybe what they see in<br />

their interactions with<br />

particular species and<br />

what [changes in their<br />

access] management is<br />

coming forward with,”<br />

Anson said.<br />

To read the complete<br />

version of this<br />

story, please visit<br />

thecrimsonwhite.com


culture<br />

5A<br />

<strong>The</strong> survival of Native American history through storytelling and art<br />

Alejandro Jimenez<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

Brandon Smith<br />

Race and Identity Reporter<br />

<strong>November</strong> is Native<br />

American Heritage<br />

Month and highlights<br />

the persistence of Native<br />

American cultures and<br />

traditions despite years<br />

of oppression and the<br />

constant threat of erasure.<br />

This month is meant<br />

to bring attention to<br />

Indigenous groups in<br />

the United States, such<br />

as the Cherokee and<br />

Creek, and celebrate<br />

their achievements as<br />

a testament to their<br />

survival, particularly<br />

through storytelling<br />

and art.<br />

A storyteller and bone<br />

flute musician named<br />

Billy <strong>White</strong>fox, a member<br />

of the Muscogee (Creek)<br />

Nation, discussed how he<br />

has preserved and shared<br />

his culture throughout<br />

the years despite the<br />

challenges he faced<br />

growing up.<br />

<strong>White</strong>fox said he was<br />

once forbidden to speak<br />

his Native language when<br />

away from his home, even<br />

around his friends.<br />

“When I was about 7,<br />

living with my grandfather<br />

in Silas, Alabama, and<br />

learning my language from<br />

my great-grandmother,<br />

I spoke some words<br />

outside,” <strong>White</strong>fox<br />

said. His grandfather<br />

immediately warned him<br />

not to “because our friends<br />

were not tribal. We were<br />

not supposed to be there,<br />

or you were meant to<br />

blend in with everybody<br />

else.”<br />

<strong>White</strong>fox admitted<br />

it was hard for him<br />

to understand his<br />

grandfather’s attitude<br />

growing up. He wondered<br />

why he was expected<br />

to lose or hide a part of<br />

who he was as he came<br />

into adulthood. Rather<br />

than submit to this truth,<br />

he learned as much as<br />

he could from his greatgrandmother,<br />

his language<br />

and folktales, before<br />

her passing. His greatgrandmother’s<br />

stories<br />

survive today because<br />

of him.<br />

“Since the ’50s and the<br />

’60s, everybody’s wanting<br />

to learn,” <strong>White</strong>fox said.<br />

In this new day and<br />

age, <strong>White</strong>fox takes the<br />

Speakers talk about their Native American heritage at the Moundville Native American Festival. CW / Caroline Simmons<br />

opportunity to share<br />

the stories he knows so<br />

that they can survive for<br />

another generation.<br />

Dan Townsend, a<br />

member of the Muscogee<br />

Nation and Cherokee<br />

Nation, rescued a dying<br />

Native American art. He is<br />

a full-time artist and has<br />

been for 45 years, carving<br />

seashells.<br />

“When I first started<br />

carving, there were only<br />

two shell carvers that I<br />

knew of in this country. It<br />

was me and another artist<br />

from Oklahoma. He has<br />

since passed,” Townsend<br />

said.<br />

Seashell carving was<br />

a style of art for many<br />

Native tribes along the<br />

eastern and southern<br />

seaboard of the United<br />

States. What was once<br />

an art close to extinction<br />

has made a revival<br />

thanks to Townsend’s<br />

efforts in teaching tribal<br />

communities over the past<br />

20 years. Over that time,<br />

he says he has taught<br />

about 400 students. His<br />

students have won blue<br />

ribbons across the nation.<br />

His personal<br />

achievement is having<br />

documentation of his<br />

work from the Creek<br />

Nation Council House<br />

Museum submitted to<br />

the Smithsonian National<br />

Museum of the American<br />

Indian in 2004.<br />

“<strong>The</strong>re must have<br />

been a million and a half<br />

spectators. I think 525<br />

different tribes throughout<br />

the United States, almost<br />

all the federally recognized<br />

tribes in North America,<br />

had gathered there, and it<br />

was quite phenomenal,”<br />

Townsend said.<br />

Out of 3,700<br />

applications to the<br />

Smithsonian Institution,<br />

“maybe a dozen were<br />

chosen” to represent a<br />

different region of the<br />

United States, Townsend<br />

said. His shell-carving<br />

work was selected to<br />

represent the tribes of<br />

the Southeastern United<br />

States. “And it was<br />

an honor.”<br />

Townsend has<br />

taught his art at the<br />

University of Maryland,<br />

Northwestern University<br />

and the University of New<br />

Mexico, but his primary<br />

concentration is teaching<br />

Native communities.<br />

Storyteller Amy<br />

Bluemel of the Chickasaw<br />

Nation discussed how<br />

influential Indigenous<br />

cultures have been<br />

to American society<br />

despite their erasure and<br />

assimilation into white<br />

American culture.<br />

“We were told that<br />

there was a dance we<br />

did in school, and it was<br />

called ‘Crack the Whip.’<br />

It’s the ‘Snake Dance.’ This<br />

is a Native dance and as<br />

colonization came across,<br />

they saw it and they joined<br />

in,” Bluemel said.<br />

However, despite<br />

the erasure and<br />

shunning of Native<br />

cultures, Bluemel sees a<br />

newfound pride among<br />

younger generations<br />

of Native Americans<br />

and a resurgence of<br />

Indigenous cultures. She is<br />

particularly aware of how<br />

social media has helped<br />

diffuse Indigenous voices<br />

and cultures to<br />

the mainstream.<br />

“My grandfather grew<br />

up in schools where they<br />

beat you and put you in<br />

a closet if you spoke your<br />

language. And these kids<br />

now are learning their<br />

languages and they’re<br />

speaking it,” Bluemel said.<br />

As a storyteller, she<br />

finds the preservation<br />

of oral tradition to be<br />

important, as many<br />

people are ignorant of the<br />

Indigenous influence in<br />

American culture<br />

and history.<br />

“It doesn’t matter if<br />

you’re Indigenous or non-<br />

Indigenous. If you live<br />

here, this is your history.<br />

And what a wonderful<br />

history,” Bluemel said.<br />

Heather Kopelson,<br />

an associate professor<br />

of history at the<br />

University, emphasized<br />

the importance of talking<br />

about Native Americans as<br />

“active agents,” especially<br />

in conversations about the<br />

erasure and preservation<br />

of their cultures. Some<br />

of the examples she gave<br />

are the Dakota Access<br />

Pipeline protests in 2016,<br />

the review of the Indian<br />

Child Welfare Act, and the<br />

renaming of Washington,<br />

D.C.’s NFL team from<br />

the Redskins to the<br />

Commanders.<br />

Her point was that<br />

Native Americans are<br />

continued survivors and<br />

are persistent in their<br />

efforts to keep their land<br />

sacred, their children kept<br />

within their communities,<br />

and their cultures<br />

safe from misuse and<br />

appropriation.<br />

Here at the University,<br />

a student-led organization<br />

for Native Americans<br />

and Native allies is<br />

developing. BISON, the<br />

Bama Indigenous Student<br />

Organization Network,<br />

is an up-and-coming<br />

group founded to bring<br />

awareness to Native issues<br />

and struggles, according<br />

to Kopelson.<br />

A Cherokee language<br />

class led by Gary Drowning<br />

Bear has also been<br />

introduced to students<br />

over the summer and is<br />

being taught this fall.<br />

Native American<br />

Heritage Month is a time<br />

to remember and honor<br />

the contributions that<br />

Native Americans have<br />

made to this country<br />

and continue to make to<br />

this day. Because of their<br />

persistence, their cultures<br />

have stood the test of<br />

time and are key to the<br />

multicultural identity of<br />

the United States.<br />

Dan Townsend discusses his<br />

work at the Native American<br />

festival in Moundville,<br />

Alabama.<br />

CW / Caroline Simmons


<strong>The</strong> hidden history behind<br />

Bryce Hospital<br />

Ava Morthland Staff Writer<br />

Gabriella Puccio-Johnson Assistant Culture Editor<br />

<strong>The</strong> historic Bryce Hospital<br />

is now being given the<br />

chance to pave an educational<br />

path. In the 1850s, Bryce<br />

Hospital was constructed<br />

in Tuscaloosa, and it was<br />

officially inaugurated as the<br />

Alabama State Hospital for<br />

the Insane in 1861; in 2010<br />

the University of Alabama<br />

acquired the property to turn<br />

it into a performing<br />

arts center.<br />

Bryce’s background<br />

<strong>The</strong> hospital was renamed<br />

Bryce Hospital in 1900<br />

after the death of its first<br />

superintendent, Peter Bryce.<br />

During Bryce’s time at the<br />

hospital, he implemented a<br />

plan called “moral treatment.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> plan allowed patients<br />

to continue work they were<br />

most familiar with, which<br />

included working on the farm,<br />

in the laundry room or in the<br />

sewing room.<br />

Bryce believed that this<br />

would help his patients heal<br />

and change their focus from<br />

their mental condition to<br />

something more productive.<br />

However, after Bryce’s<br />

death, citizens around<br />

the hospital started to get<br />

concerned with the time<br />

patients were spending there.<br />

In 1970 a lawsuit, Wyatt v.<br />

Stickney, challenged the<br />

treatment of patients at<br />

the hospital.<br />

<strong>The</strong> lawsuit said that<br />

patients had the right<br />

to receive a humane<br />

psychological and physical<br />

environment, qualified<br />

staff in numbers sufficient<br />

to administer adequate<br />

treatment and individualized<br />

treatment plans. <strong>The</strong><br />

decisions from the case<br />

established what are<br />

now known as the Wyatt<br />

Standards.<br />

“To deprive any citizens<br />

of his or her liberty upon<br />

the altruistic theory that the<br />

confinement is for humane<br />

therapeutic reasons and<br />

then fail to provide adequate<br />

treatment violates the very<br />

fundamentals of due process,”<br />

Judge Frank Johnson Jr., who<br />

ruled in the case, wrote.<br />

According to the<br />

Encyclopedia of Alabama,<br />

the hospital was accused of<br />

using patients for free labor.<br />

In fact, some patients wrote<br />

and edited a newspaper,<br />

called <strong>The</strong> Meteor, that <strong>The</strong><br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> <strong>White</strong> covered in<br />

2017. However, in 2003 the<br />

lawsuit was dismissed, and<br />

the humane treatment of<br />

patients has become standard<br />

practice through statutes<br />

and regulations.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Disability Justice<br />

website says that the<br />

treatment of patients at state<br />

hospitals was inhumane,<br />

and the practices were<br />

inadequate.<br />

<strong>The</strong> editor of a<br />

Montgomery newspaper<br />

compared the conditions<br />

at Alabama’s inpatient<br />

institutions to the conditions<br />

at the concentration camps<br />

in Germany during World War<br />

II, according to the Disability<br />

Justice website.<br />

<strong>The</strong> building, now<br />

abandoned, has been a<br />

piece of discussion for years<br />

due to its worn-down and<br />

“haunted” manner. YouTube<br />

videos, X/Twitter threads,<br />

photo galleries and Instagram<br />

posts have been platforms<br />

for people to share their<br />

visits to the abandoned<br />

hospital. Peeling paint, broken<br />

windows and destroyed<br />

ceilings help create the eerie<br />

feeling people get when<br />

stepping inside.<br />

Bryce Hospital also had<br />

a cemetery, which can be<br />

found close to campus. It<br />

is located on the north side<br />

of Jack Warner Parkway —<br />

formerly River Road — behind<br />

Bryce Hospital. It has been<br />

used since the 1920s and is<br />

home to patients who died at<br />

Bryce. <strong>The</strong>se people did not<br />

have another place for burial<br />

or had no family members<br />

who would claim them, so<br />

the cemetery offered them a<br />

peaceful place to rest<br />

after death.<br />

<strong>The</strong> first recorded burial<br />

dates to 1861. While only a<br />

few graves are marked, it is<br />

estimated that thousands of<br />

individuals are buried here.<br />

New beginning for Bryce<br />

Hospital<br />

Bryce Hospital was moved<br />

to McFarland Boulevard in<br />

2009, and <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama acquired the original<br />

property in 2010, embarking<br />

on a substantial $40 million<br />

renovation endeavor that<br />

focuses on the original fourstory<br />

central hospital building<br />

and four out of the original<br />

six wings.<br />

This renovation project is<br />

an integral component of a<br />

larger $121 million initiative,<br />

which also encompasses<br />

the construction of a new<br />

performing arts center on<br />

the premises. As outlined<br />

by University of Alabama<br />

planner Dan Wolfe, the<br />

revitalized hospital structures<br />

will serve a variety of<br />

purposes, including a<br />

University welcome center,<br />

a museum dedicated to<br />

mental health, a repository<br />

of the University’s historical<br />

heritage, event venues and<br />

classrooms for students<br />

studying performing arts.<br />

<strong>The</strong> construction end date<br />

is still to be determined, but<br />

the groundbreaking occurred<br />

Oct. 20.<br />

<strong>The</strong> performing arts<br />

center will be called the<br />

Smith Family Center for the<br />

Performing Arts after Mark<br />

Smith, the father of UA<br />

graduate Clay Smith.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> groundbreaking<br />

honors many years of<br />

planning and fundraising<br />

efforts to create a cuttingedge<br />

facility that will meet<br />

the performance, design and<br />

production needs of a theatre<br />

and dance department that<br />

has more than doubled its<br />

enrollment over the last<br />

20 years,” Alex House, the<br />

University’s assistant director<br />

of communication, wrote in<br />

an article.<br />

<strong>The</strong> center is going to<br />

replace Bryant-Jordan Hall,<br />

Marian Gallaway <strong>The</strong>atre<br />

and the Dance <strong>The</strong>atre as the<br />

primary performance space<br />

for students.<br />

House wrote that the<br />

center will have larger stage<br />

openings and offstage spaces<br />

as well as orchestral pits,<br />

adjustable acoustics, deeper<br />

stages and engineered floors.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Campaign for the<br />

Performing Arts page has<br />

floor plans, pictures of the<br />

outside and inside, and<br />

opportunities to name parts<br />

of the center.<br />

“A new Performing Arts<br />

Academic Center will have<br />

a tremendous impact on<br />

both UA students and the<br />

surrounding community,”<br />

the page says. “Our<br />

students will experience a<br />

seamless transition into the<br />

professional world as they<br />

will now learn and perform<br />

in theatres rivaling major<br />

performance venues across<br />

the country.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> performing arts center<br />

will allow for a new history to<br />

be started on historical land<br />

and grant the opportunity to<br />

turn the space into<br />

something extraordinary.<br />

sports + culture<br />

1B<br />

<strong>The</strong> yellow hammer:<br />

An Alabama superfan’s autograph collection<br />

quickly reaching legend status<br />

Nacho Alabamo has been trying to get as many signatures as possible since creating the hammer<br />

pictured above. CW / Elijah McWhorter<br />

Abby McCreary<br />

Sports Editor<br />

<strong>The</strong> Alabama<br />

yellowhammer. To some,<br />

it’s a bird. To most, it’s a<br />

drink. To all, it’s a part of the<br />

Rammer Jammer, the song<br />

that means a <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

victory.<br />

Sometimes, though, it’s just<br />

a yellow hammer.<br />

But this yellow hammer<br />

belongs to Nacho Alabamo,<br />

the Alabama superfan and<br />

game day personality who<br />

has amassed over two dozen<br />

legendary Alabama signatures<br />

on his trademark tool.<br />

“It’s probably the best thing<br />

that I’ve done, because even<br />

when you can’t see me, you<br />

can see the hammer,” Nacho<br />

Alabamo said.<br />

Since getting its first<br />

signature from former<br />

Alabama and current New<br />

York Jets defensive tackle<br />

Quinnen Williams a couple<br />

years ago, the hammer has<br />

been signed by everyone<br />

from players to media<br />

personalities.<br />

His favorites, though, go<br />

“hand in hand.”<br />

At the Mississippi State<br />

game in Starkville two years<br />

ago, Nacho looked to his right<br />

and saw Terry Saban, better<br />

known as “Miss Terry” for her<br />

role on her husband’s football<br />

team. As she came over to<br />

sign the hammer, Nacho told<br />

her that he was hoping for<br />

her husband’s signature next.<br />

“Don’t you worry, honey,<br />

we’re going to get that for<br />

you,” she said.<br />

Sure enough, Alabama<br />

football head coach Nick<br />

Saban’s signature currently<br />

graces the top of the hammer<br />

after a successful Fan Day<br />

outing. However, in order to<br />

put it at the top next to Miss<br />

Terry’s, Nacho had to cover up<br />

another signature.<br />

“Paul [Finebaum] has been<br />

talking some trash about<br />

Alabama these past couple<br />

years,” he said. “I didn’t feel<br />

he deserved such prime real<br />

estate on the hammer.”<br />

Nacho Alabamo said that<br />

although he covered up<br />

Finebaum’s signature with<br />

the same yellow duct tape<br />

that is used on the rest of the<br />

hammer, he’s planning on<br />

having the signature back on<br />

there in the future.<br />

“When I get Paul<br />

Finebaum’s signature again,<br />

I’m going to get him to sign<br />

it on the ‘no rat poison’ side,”<br />

he said. “I think that’s where<br />

those guys need to be.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> hosts of “SEC Nation,”<br />

including Roman Harper, are<br />

some of the other signatures<br />

on the hammer; all are on the<br />

“no rat poison” side.<br />

<strong>The</strong> hammer, which also<br />

has sides that read “Roll Tide,”<br />

“Give ’em Hell Alabama!” and<br />

“Rammer Jammer,” consists<br />

of yoga mat foam, PVC pipe<br />

and yellow duct tape. Nacho<br />

Alabamo said he originally<br />

got the idea when he dressed<br />

up as Fat Thor for Comic Con<br />

and made “Stormbreaker,” the<br />

hero’s legendary weapon.<br />

<strong>The</strong> prop was a huge hit,<br />

and he knew he needed<br />

something similar to<br />

complete his superfan getup<br />

since before the hammer, he’d<br />

just “walk around and point”<br />

on game days.<br />

“I got to thinking about<br />

it: ‘Rammer Jammer, Yellow<br />

Hammer,’” Nacho Alabamo<br />

said. “I knew yellowhammer<br />

was a bird, but I could just<br />

make a big, yellow hammer.”<br />

Since the creation of<br />

the hammer, the superfan<br />

decided that he wanted to<br />

get as many signatures as<br />

possible. Right now, former<br />

softball player Montana Fouts<br />

and former football players<br />

C.J. Mosley and Jordan Battle<br />

have all contributed to<br />

the hammer.<br />

Kicker Will Reichard is the<br />

only current football player<br />

who has his signature on the<br />

hammer. Nacho met Reichard<br />

and several other players at<br />

Fan Day last year.<br />

“I told him [Reichard], ‘Man,<br />

I am so happy you came back<br />

for one more year. You’re the<br />

only person I’m going to ask<br />

for a signature,’” Nacho said.<br />

“I wanted to go around and<br />

meet all the players. When<br />

you have that opportunity,<br />

you take advantage of it. <strong>The</strong><br />

cool thing was most of them<br />

knew who I was.”<br />

While the superfan loves<br />

asking for as many signatures<br />

as he can, he said he does it<br />

only when the opportunity<br />

presents itself, and a lot<br />

of times taking a picture<br />

takes priority over asking<br />

for a signature, especially in<br />

the case of meeting former<br />

Alabama quarterback<br />

Bryce Young.<br />

Nacho Alabamo waited<br />

nearly an hour and a half<br />

for Young at SEC media<br />

days after the quarterback<br />

promised to return. Nacho<br />

didn’t think he would, but<br />

sure enough, Young came<br />

back and headed straight for<br />

the superfan.<br />

“I never even thought<br />

about asking him to sign the<br />

hammer for me. I just thought<br />

it was so cool he came back<br />

and got the picture with me,”<br />

he said.<br />

Although the hammer<br />

has 26 signatures, there’s still<br />

plenty of room for more, and<br />

Nacho already knows whose<br />

he wants next.<br />

“I would love to get Joe<br />

Namath’s signature,” Nacho<br />

said. “That would be huge.<br />

I had the opportunity since<br />

he walked right past me at<br />

the Texas game on ‘College<br />

GameDay’ ... but he was in a<br />

hurry to get up the stage. That<br />

would be my ultimate goal.”<br />

Dreamland’s rich history of unifying<br />

people through food<br />

Luke McClinton Staff Writer<br />

Taylor Paton Contributing Writer<br />

“A<br />

in’t nothing like ’em<br />

nowhere,”claims the<br />

slogan of Dreamland Bar-<br />

B-Que. It’s a bold assertion,<br />

yet if you ask a Southerner<br />

with an awareness of the<br />

region’s barbecue scene, or<br />

even just an enjoyment<br />

of high-quality smoked<br />

meats, it’s true.<br />

“<strong>The</strong> barbecue sauce<br />

and the ribs are hard to<br />

beat,” Jasper native Keith<br />

Gilbert said. “I always<br />

make sure to stop in when<br />

I am in Tuscaloosa. I enjoy<br />

it too much to skip over.”<br />

For how delectable the<br />

food might be, however,<br />

it is only half the story.<br />

Behind the hickorysmoked<br />

ribs, tantalizingly<br />

unique sauce and fanfavorite<br />

banana pudding is<br />

a rich, colorful history.<br />

SEE PAGE 3B


2B<br />

sports<br />

<strong>The</strong> legends behind the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s favorite athletic facilities<br />

Abby McCreary<br />

Sports Editor<br />

Michael DeVito<br />

Contributing Writer<br />

John and Ann Rhoads<br />

Softball Stadium<br />

Whether it’s a party at Rhoads or an afternoon at <strong>The</strong> Joe, many of UA Athletics’ favorite facilities are constantly<br />

referred to without a second thought given to their namesakes. Here are the Alabama legends who lend their names<br />

to some of the most visited facilities at <strong>The</strong> University of Alabama.<br />

Photos by Riley Brown and Natalie Teat<br />

Bryant-Denny Stadium<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

Stran-Hardin Arena<br />

Sewell-Thomas<br />

Stadium<br />

Although John and Ann<br />

Rhoads lend their names<br />

to several scholarships<br />

at <strong>The</strong> University of<br />

Alabama, they are best<br />

known for their names<br />

on the Alabama softball<br />

stadium. John Rhoads, a<br />

Birmingham businessman<br />

involved in several<br />

Alabama industries,<br />

such as aerospace and<br />

manufacturing, stayed<br />

heavily involved with the<br />

Capstone throughout<br />

his career.<br />

Ann Rhoads followed<br />

suit, involving herself with<br />

several UA educational<br />

and athletic programs.<br />

Before she died in 2021,<br />

she increasingly followed<br />

UA Athletics, especially<br />

softball.<br />

Although John Rhoads<br />

died in 2001, Ann Rhoads<br />

was present for the softball<br />

stadium’s dedication in<br />

their honor in 2011.<br />

“Ann Rhoads is a dear<br />

friend to the University<br />

and a great supporter<br />

of Alabama Athletics,”<br />

then-UA athletic director<br />

Mal Moore said at the<br />

dedication. “I would like to<br />

thank her for all she has<br />

done to help the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide remain one of the<br />

nation’s elite programs.”<br />

Bryant-Denny Stadium is<br />

certainly the best-known<br />

stadium in UA Athletics,<br />

and its namesakes hardly<br />

need introduction. Former<br />

Alabama president George<br />

Denny expanded the University<br />

in large part due to his<br />

methods of increasing funding<br />

via donations, gifts and<br />

other sources of revenue.<br />

Denny also jumpstarted<br />

the football program and<br />

witnessed the creation of<br />

several UA traditions still in<br />

practice to this day. His career<br />

is commerated with the<br />

creation of Denny Chimes,<br />

the belltower situated on<br />

the Quad. He was the sole<br />

namesake of Denny Stadium<br />

until 1975.<br />

While Alabama legend<br />

Paul “Bear” Bryant was still<br />

coaching for the <strong>Crimson</strong><br />

Tide, the Alabama Legislature<br />

voted to add his name<br />

to the stadium. At that<br />

point, Bryant had won four<br />

national championships,<br />

and he added two more before<br />

he retired in 1982 with<br />

323 collegiate head coaching<br />

wins — a record that stood<br />

until Penn State head coach<br />

Joe Paterno broke it in 2001.<br />

Although Jefferson Jackson<br />

Coleman was known<br />

more for his contributions<br />

to UA football, his name has<br />

become synonymous with<br />

Alabama basketball since<br />

both the men’s and women’s<br />

teams play in Coleman<br />

Coliseum. <strong>The</strong> Livingston,<br />

Alabama, native started<br />

working for UA Athletics at<br />

the age of 19, when he was<br />

hired as former Alabama<br />

football head coach Wade<br />

Wallace’s student secretary.<br />

He continued working<br />

for Alabama Athletics until<br />

his retirement nearly 50<br />

years later. Coleman worked<br />

in various administrative<br />

positions, including director<br />

and the school’s purchasing<br />

agent. He also created the<br />

University Supply Store and<br />

the University Club during<br />

his tenure.<br />

Coleman oversaw the<br />

construction of the court,<br />

then called Memorial Coliseum,<br />

in the 1960s, and<br />

in 1988, it was renamed in<br />

his honor. When he died in<br />

1995, he was the only person<br />

to have attended every bowl<br />

game that Alabama football<br />

played in, including the 1926<br />

Rose Bowl.<br />

As co-founders of the<br />

Alabama Adapted Athletics<br />

program, Margaret Stran<br />

and Brent Hardin lend their<br />

names to Stran-Hardin Arena,<br />

the one-of-a-kind facility<br />

that has brought home over<br />

a dozen national championships<br />

and sent several<br />

athletes to the Paralympics.<br />

<strong>The</strong> couple immediately<br />

created the women’s wheelchair<br />

basketball program<br />

when they came to the University<br />

in 2003, and in the<br />

past 20 years, several sports,<br />

facilities and athletes have<br />

been added.<br />

In 2018, the $10 million<br />

facility opened, largely possible<br />

because of UA alumni<br />

Mike and Kathy Mouron.<br />

Originally, Mike Mouron<br />

told Stran and Hardin that<br />

the facility would be named<br />

in honor of his wife and to<br />

keep the name a surprise.<br />

“When we went to a<br />

naming ceremony, that’s<br />

when we found out,” Stran<br />

said. “I remember he said<br />

something to the effect of he<br />

paid for the naming rights,<br />

but we earned the naming<br />

rights. It’s very humbling,<br />

and kind of a responsibility<br />

to make sure that what I do<br />

and who I am reflects the<br />

honor that Mike and Kathy<br />

gave us.”<br />

Originally opened March<br />

26, 1948, under the name of<br />

Thomas Stadium, the baseball<br />

stadium was named<br />

after former <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

football head coach Frank<br />

Thomas. <strong>The</strong> Muncie, Indiana,<br />

native had a successful<br />

career for the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide’s<br />

football program along with<br />

being the UA athletic director<br />

from 1940 through 1952.<br />

During his 21-year stint at<br />

Alabama, Thomas brought<br />

four SEC championships<br />

along with two national<br />

championships to Tuscaloosa.<br />

In the spring of 1978,<br />

Thomas Stadium was renamed<br />

to what it is known<br />

as today, Sewell-Thomas<br />

stadium, or “<strong>The</strong> Joe” for<br />

short. Joe Sewell, a member<br />

of the Baseball Hall of Fame<br />

and the Alabama Sports<br />

Hall of Fame, was one of the<br />

most successful players to<br />

don the crimson and white<br />

of the University of Alabama<br />

baseball program.<br />

After a 13-year major<br />

league career, the Mobile,<br />

Alabama, native tallied up<br />

an impressive .312 career<br />

batting average in the big<br />

leagues, playing for the New<br />

York Yankees and eventually<br />

reaching the Baseball Hall of<br />

Fame in Cooperstown, New<br />

York.<br />

Opening Dates of UA Stadiums<br />

Talk To A Lawyer Today!<br />

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John and Ann Rhoads Softball Stadium<br />

February 23, 2000<br />

Bryant-Denny Stadium<br />

September 28, 1929<br />

Coleman Coliseum<br />

January 30, 1968<br />

Stran-Hardin Arena<br />

January 10, 2018<br />

Sewell-Thomas Stadium<br />

March 26, 1948


culture<br />

continued from 1B — Dreamland<br />

3B<br />

<strong>The</strong> original location,<br />

located in the heart of<br />

Tuscaloosa, radiates a<br />

classic hole-in-the-wall<br />

aura. It was opened in 1958<br />

under the creative vision<br />

of John “Big Daddy” Bishop.<br />

This vision was apparently<br />

divine; according to the<br />

opening line of the “About<br />

Us” page of Dreamland’s<br />

website.<br />

“It all started with a<br />

dream ... and it was in that<br />

dream that God visited John<br />

‘Big Daddy’ Bishop and told<br />

him to open a restaurant,”<br />

the website reads.<br />

Its exterior is free from<br />

flashy imagery, more akin to<br />

a mom-and-pop shack than<br />

the famed brand Dreamland<br />

has become. <strong>The</strong> interior<br />

has a similarly niche and<br />

old-timey construction.<br />

<strong>The</strong> walls are lined with<br />

license plates, black-andwhite<br />

framed pictures,<br />

signed dollar bills and<br />

other distinct iconography.<br />

Perhaps most striking is<br />

a sign with the simple<br />

imperative “no farting.”<br />

This pioneer location<br />

didn’t immediately adopt<br />

the singular identity of a<br />

barbecue restaurant. <strong>The</strong><br />

website’s biography details<br />

how Bishop’s eatery “sold<br />

everything from burgers to<br />

postage stamps.” It was only<br />

after the hickory-fired ribs<br />

and vinegar-based barbecue<br />

sauce became runaway<br />

favorites that such an<br />

identity was taken on.<br />

Dreamland’s popularity<br />

spread steadily over the<br />

ensuing decades, and<br />

eventually expansion<br />

became unavoidable.<br />

In 1993, after 35 years<br />

of solitary residence in<br />

Tuscaloosa, a new location<br />

was opened in Birmingham,<br />

dubbed “Southside.” In<br />

the years since, nine new<br />

Dreamlands have popped<br />

up, expanding as far east as<br />

Duluth, Georgia, and as far<br />

south as Mobile, Alabama,<br />

and Tallahassee, Florida.<br />

<strong>The</strong>se locations have a<br />

more modern build while<br />

maintaining the classic<br />

Dreamland feel. <strong>The</strong>re isn’t<br />

quite the down-to-earth feel<br />

of eating in a 1950s-style<br />

shack, but the larger and<br />

nicer venues house the<br />

same iconography and<br />

homeyness. If one visits a<br />

variety of Dreamlands, one<br />

might notice the ubiquity of<br />

the “no farting” sign; it is a<br />

small but powerful symbol<br />

of the restaurant’s smalltown<br />

character despite<br />

prosperity and expansion.<br />

<strong>The</strong> personality of<br />

Dreamland goes even<br />

deeper than the looks,<br />

even beyond the humorous<br />

signage and classic<br />

Alabamian composition.<br />

Roscoe Hall is a<br />

renowned chef and artist<br />

who has worked in and<br />

helmed a motley array of<br />

restaurants, from David<br />

Chang’s now-closed<br />

Momofuku Ssäm Bar<br />

in New York to Rodney<br />

Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in<br />

Birmingham. He competed<br />

in Season 18 of Top Chef.<br />

He is also the grandson<br />

of Big Daddy Bishop, and<br />

that connection helps him<br />

provide a fresh perspective<br />

on Dreamland that’s infused<br />

with familial admiration.<br />

“It was like home for<br />

me,” he said when asked<br />

what the restaurant meant<br />

to him. “It means a lot to<br />

the culinary world ... but to<br />

me it will always just mean<br />

family.”<br />

More than just a provider<br />

of great food, the restaurant<br />

was a unifier of sorts,<br />

bonding people of all walks<br />

of life through the universal<br />

quality of deliciousness.<br />

While on the topic<br />

of his relationship with<br />

Dreamland, Hall intimated<br />

details of his teenage<br />

life that illustrate this<br />

unifying quality. When<br />

he first began attending<br />

St. Bernard Preparatory<br />

School in Cullman, he was<br />

one of only a few African<br />

American students. What’s<br />

more is that he was a “punk<br />

rock kid” who, thanks to<br />

the demographic skew as<br />

well as his personality, had<br />

mostly white friends.<br />

On Friday afternoons,<br />

he would venture to<br />

Dreamland and come into<br />

the restaurant through<br />

the back door. Often, these<br />

fellow punk rock friends<br />

would come with him and<br />

follow suit.<br />

Dreamland opened in 1958 and it has become a staple barbecue restaurant in the South.<br />

CW / Caroline Simmons<br />

“I would walk through<br />

with, like, a mohawk, and<br />

my friends would have, like,<br />

pink hair,” Hall remembered.<br />

One day, his grandfather,<br />

who founded the restaurant<br />

in a time of high racial<br />

tensions, noted the<br />

unbelievable nature of it all.<br />

“This is how far we’ve<br />

made it,” Hall recalled him<br />

saying. “I never thought<br />

I’d see white kids coming<br />

in the back door of my<br />

restaurant.”<br />

It wasn’t only racial<br />

divides that were broken by<br />

Dreamland’s indiscriminate<br />

allure. In addition to his<br />

eccentric high school<br />

comrades, Hall recalled<br />

encountering Bo Jackson<br />

and a college-aged<br />

Shaquille O’Neal.<br />

In these memories,<br />

Bishop’s realization rings<br />

true. Dreamland is the<br />

consummate example of a<br />

good meal breaking down<br />

barriers. <strong>The</strong> Alabama<br />

Tourism Department<br />

articulates it well: “<strong>The</strong><br />

point is that it doesn’t<br />

matter who you are. At<br />

Dreamland everybody is<br />

special and everybody is<br />

there for the same reason —<br />

the ribs.”<br />

This is where the real<br />

Dreamland can be found. It<br />

isn’t about the license plates<br />

or the “no farting” signs, but<br />

rather the environment the<br />

restaurant creates and the<br />

openness that environment<br />

fosters. <strong>The</strong> restaurant has<br />

its own history, but more<br />

importantly, it has lived<br />

through history as a whole<br />

and kept its character.<br />

Whether in the tumult of<br />

the ’60s or the modernity of<br />

the 2020s, it’s all about the<br />

ribs, sauce and white bread.<br />

Such simplicity is<br />

refreshing. Life can be<br />

hard; when struggles come,<br />

however, Dreamland will be<br />

there, unchanged and with<br />

open arms, ready to serve<br />

good food to any who<br />

may come.


4B<br />

sports<br />

Underfunded, underappreciated and underwhelming:<br />

<strong>The</strong> humble beginnings of Alabama soccer<br />

<strong>The</strong>odore Fernandez<br />

Staff Writer<br />

When Janko Emedi<br />

took a job teaching<br />

Russian at <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama in 1983, he<br />

pushed for the creation of<br />

a soccer program.<br />

Emedi, by all accounts,<br />

was a renaissance man.<br />

Having escaped his<br />

homeland of Yugoslavia<br />

with his family at the age<br />

of 15, he bounced around<br />

the U.S., first living in<br />

Chicago, then finding a<br />

home playing soccer at<br />

University of Alabama-<br />

Huntsville, then studying<br />

at the University of<br />

Indiana.<br />

It was there in<br />

Bloomington that Emedi<br />

first found a love for<br />

coaching, as a soccer coach<br />

at a local YMCA. From<br />

there, Alabama soccer<br />

took root.<br />

Prior to Title IX in<br />

1972, women’s collegiate<br />

athletics had been<br />

essentially nonexistent,<br />

but now colleges had no<br />

choice but to create teams<br />

for them to play on.<br />

In 1986, one of those<br />

teams was soccer.<br />

Emedi was given just<br />

two months to field a<br />

team. In these 60 days,<br />

he managed to pull<br />

together 20 players, mostly<br />

freshmen from the South.<br />

Emedi’s squad played<br />

a “tough schedule” in his<br />

words, which primarily<br />

consisted of Division II and<br />

III schools from the South.<br />

But Oct. 26 marked the<br />

biggest game of the year<br />

for the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide — a<br />

trip to Nashville to take<br />

on Vanderbilt.<br />

<strong>The</strong> Commodores were<br />

the only other SEC school<br />

with a soccer program,<br />

having launched one the<br />

year before.<br />

<strong>The</strong> teams were both<br />

severely underfunded<br />

and outmatched. <strong>The</strong><br />

two teams agreed, halfjokingly,<br />

that the winner<br />

of the game would be<br />

able to call itself the SEC<br />

champion.<br />

<strong>The</strong> honor did not<br />

go to Alabama, as the<br />

Commodores defeated the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide 2-0.<br />

After finishing 2-9<br />

in year one, Alabama<br />

turned things around in<br />

1987. Despite returning<br />

just three players from<br />

the previous team, the<br />

<strong>Crimson</strong> Tide went 9-4-<br />

1, avenging many of the<br />

last year’s losses in the<br />

process, while playing<br />

Vanderbilt to a scoreless<br />

draw.<br />

But an 8-0 loss to<br />

North Carolina late in the<br />

season made it clear that<br />

this program still had a<br />

lot of work to do. <strong>The</strong> Tar<br />

Heels were — and still<br />

are — the class of college<br />

soccer. Coached by the<br />

legendary Anson Dorrance<br />

IV, North Carolina had<br />

won four of the five NCAA<br />

championships played up<br />

to this point, and would<br />

capture a fifth this season.<br />

North Carolina was the<br />

gold standard. In total, the<br />

Tar Heels would go on to<br />

win 16 of the first 19 NCAA<br />

Championships while<br />

being led by icons such<br />

as Mia Hamm. Dorrance<br />

is still at the helm to this<br />

day as arguably the most<br />

decorated coach in the<br />

history of sports.<br />

This Alabama team had<br />

a good story but was just<br />

wholly unable to compete<br />

Alabama soccer players kicking the ball around during warmups. CW / Natalie Teat<br />

with a team like the<br />

Tar Heels.<br />

<strong>The</strong> 1988 season further<br />

illustrated this.<br />

“It’s really looking good<br />

for us,” Emedi said of the<br />

program heading into this<br />

third year.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

returned most of its<br />

players, and there was<br />

reason to believe the<br />

team could take the next<br />

step and make an NCAA<br />

tournament.<br />

But following an 8-8<br />

season in 1988, punctuated<br />

by a 3-1 loss to the<br />

Commodores, athletic<br />

director Steve Sloan pulled<br />

the plug on the program.<br />

Soccer at <strong>The</strong> University<br />

of Alabama was no more.<br />

<strong>The</strong> school decided it<br />

would be better fit giving<br />

scholarships and funding<br />

to the volleyball team.<br />

<strong>The</strong> girls on the 1988<br />

team all either transferred<br />

to other programs or<br />

stayed enrolled as regular<br />

students at the University.<br />

Emedi went on to work<br />

teaching English as a<br />

second language and coach<br />

soccer at Warren Central<br />

High School in Kentucky,<br />

never again returning to<br />

the collegiate level.<br />

For six years, soccer<br />

was nowhere to be seen at<br />

the University.<br />

<strong>The</strong>n, in late 1993, right<br />

before the World Cup,<br />

athletic director Hootie<br />

Ingram, the man best<br />

known for hiring Gene<br />

Stallings, reinstated<br />

the program.<br />

<strong>The</strong> process for<br />

launching the program was<br />

much more coordinated<br />

and drawn out than the<br />

first time around. First,<br />

Don Staley was hired as<br />

head coach in December<br />

1993, giving him a full nine<br />

months to recruit and plan<br />

for the start of the<br />

1994 season.<br />

Staley was someone<br />

who lived, breathed and<br />

slept soccer.<br />

He started playing at<br />

the age of 10, and by his<br />

sophomore year of high<br />

school, when he realized<br />

he was not good enough<br />

to play college football,<br />

devoted himself to being<br />

a full-time goalkeeper,<br />

and played on a partial<br />

scholarship at Virginia<br />

Wesleyan University before<br />

being kicked off the team<br />

due to a low GPA.<br />

Following that,<br />

his hopes of playing<br />

professionally were dashed<br />

when he broke his leg<br />

in an all-star exhibition<br />

game in 1982. At this<br />

point, Staley directed his<br />

attention to coaching,<br />

taking over at Radford<br />

University.<br />

In his nine<br />

seasons there, Staley<br />

simultaneously coached<br />

the Highlanders’ men’s<br />

and women’s teams, taking<br />

the women to an NCAA<br />

Tournament, no small feat<br />

for a school that small. He<br />

achieved sustained success<br />

and, not wanting any of<br />

his players to go down his<br />

path, put a high emphasis<br />

on academics.<br />

So in 1993, there really<br />

was no debate over who<br />

was going to get the job<br />

at Alabama.<br />

Staley also interviewed<br />

for the job at Auburn,<br />

another SEC school that<br />

was launching a program,<br />

but knew he wanted to<br />

come to T-town from<br />

day one.<br />

“When I was offered<br />

the position, it was like<br />

a dream come true,”<br />

Staley said. “I was<br />

getting to coach and<br />

live at a prestigious<br />

university in the most<br />

prestigious league in the<br />

country. I sought out the<br />

Southeastern Conference<br />

because I wanted to go to<br />

a very competitive school<br />

that was adding the sport.”<br />

Also different this time<br />

around was the supporting<br />

cast. While Emedi had<br />

just one assistant, albeit a<br />

great one in Philip Dodds,<br />

Staley had a whole crew<br />

around him.<br />

First there was Karen<br />

McGrath, a former player<br />

at Radford.<br />

“Coach Staley and I<br />

had a unique professional<br />

relationship,” McGrath<br />

said. “We sort of feed off<br />

each other. On the field,<br />

I tend to be the coach’s<br />

right hand. We work pretty<br />

closely together. <strong>The</strong>re’s<br />

nothing I don’t do as<br />

a coach.”<br />

Joining McGrath on<br />

the staff was graduate<br />

assistant Laura Topolski<br />

and Tim Ramsden, a<br />

volunteer assistant<br />

working primarily with<br />

the goalies.<br />

In addition to the<br />

coaching staff, the team<br />

had a trainer, equipment<br />

manager, promotions<br />

director, information<br />

director, and strength and<br />

conditioning coach.<br />

Furthermore, ground<br />

was broken on the<br />

Alabama Soccer Stadium,<br />

where the team still<br />

plays to this day. It was<br />

a true designated facility<br />

that could meet all the<br />

team’s practice needs<br />

while providing a great<br />

fan atmosphere for home<br />

games.<br />

<strong>The</strong> University had<br />

finally invested in soccer,<br />

and just through this<br />

commitment, a message<br />

was sent.<br />

This was not going to<br />

be a team fighting for its<br />

survival. Soccer was not at<br />

risk of ever being cut from<br />

the school again. Before<br />

the team had even played<br />

a single game, everyone<br />

knew that it was here<br />

to stay.<br />

<strong>The</strong> difference between<br />

this squad and the<br />

’80s squads was clear<br />

immediately.<br />

First of all, the 1994<br />

team boasted players<br />

from all over the country,<br />

decorated high school<br />

athletes from everywhere<br />

from New Jersey to<br />

New Mexico.<br />

On the field, Alabama<br />

was elite, going 13-5-1 with<br />

a 2-1-1 conference record.<br />

But unfortunately, while<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide spent<br />

six years not playing,<br />

the Commodores were<br />

improving.<br />

Vanderbilt dominated<br />

the 1994 matchup in a 7-0<br />

rout of Alabama en route<br />

to an SEC Championship.<br />

<strong>The</strong> <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide was<br />

good, but not great.<br />

In his 14 years as head<br />

coach, Staley established<br />

the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide as one<br />

of the most consistent<br />

programs in the SEC,<br />

winning multiple SEC<br />

Coach of the Year awards<br />

in the process and<br />

becoming just the fifth<br />

NCAA soccer coach at the<br />

time to win 300 career<br />

games.<br />

But the fact of the<br />

matter still was that the<br />

team could not reach that<br />

next level.<br />

In 2022 it all came<br />

together.<br />

After having notched<br />

the program’s first ever<br />

tournament win the year<br />

before, head coach Wes<br />

Hart’s squad shocked the<br />

soccer world by making it<br />

to the College Cup, losing<br />

to eventual champions<br />

UCLA in the national<br />

semifinals.<br />

It was a breakthrough<br />

for the school, and the<br />

entire year served as a<br />

homecoming of sorts<br />

for <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide soccer<br />

alumni who came back to<br />

watch the program they<br />

had helped build.<br />

“Seeing them come<br />

back 20, 30 years after they<br />

finished playing is just<br />

insane,” senior forward<br />

Gessica Skorka said of<br />

the former players. “It<br />

shows just how dedicated<br />

they are and how much<br />

this meant to them. <strong>The</strong>ir<br />

passion is really exciting.”<br />

But one person’s<br />

support in particular<br />

meant a little extra.<br />

“He was awesome,”<br />

Hart said of Don Staley’s<br />

support of Alabama soccer.<br />

“We’ve had a relationship<br />

ever since I took the job<br />

here. We got in touch, and<br />

we talk a few times a year.<br />

He’s really proud of where<br />

the program’s come. He’s a<br />

big supporter of us, and it<br />

means a lot.”<br />

Staley currently serves<br />

as the CEO and founder of<br />

the Southeastern Network<br />

of Athletic Professionals,<br />

a consulting firm<br />

specializing in issues such<br />

as Title IX; name, image<br />

and likeness deals; and the<br />

transfer portal, meaning<br />

that he is still working<br />

with college athletes.<br />

“It’s my goal to give<br />

back to the industry to<br />

which I have dedicated<br />

40 years of my life by<br />

providing innovative<br />

solutions to destination<br />

marketing organizations,<br />

sports commissions,<br />

sporting venues and<br />

facilities, municipalities<br />

and student-athletes to<br />

help achieve economic<br />

impact and personal<br />

goals,” Staley wrote on his<br />

LinkedIn profile.<br />

Alabama soccer’s<br />

success has carried over<br />

into this year. For the<br />

first time in program<br />

history, the <strong>Crimson</strong> Tide<br />

spent the entire season<br />

ranked inside the United<br />

Soccer Coaches Top 25 and<br />

earned wins over big-time<br />

opponents.<br />

Regardless of how the<br />

remainder of this season<br />

shakes out, Alabama<br />

soccer is in great hands<br />

with Hart at the helm, but<br />

it would not be possible<br />

without Emedi, Staley, and<br />

all the players, assistants,<br />

personnel, boosters and<br />

fans who supported<br />

Alabama soccer in<br />

its infancy.


opinion<br />

5B<br />

Racial profiling:<br />

A harmful reality for people of color in America<br />

Angel Scales<br />

Contributing<br />

Columnist<br />

In today’s age, you would<br />

think blatant racist<br />

ideologies would start to<br />

dwindle away, considering<br />

the rather progressive way<br />

of thinking that develops<br />

as the generations go by.<br />

However, these<br />

backward ways of thinking<br />

still impact people of color<br />

today and are a prominent<br />

explanation for how<br />

people of color are treated<br />

in their everyday lives.<br />

Racial profiling, the act<br />

of using someone’s race<br />

as a basis for suspecting<br />

them of an offense, is<br />

rooted in America’s<br />

history, with the earliest<br />

known account of legal<br />

profiling dating back to<br />

1693.<br />

Court officials in<br />

Philadelphia gave law<br />

enforcement the ability<br />

to detain enslaved or<br />

freed Black people if they<br />

were caught wandering<br />

around. Slave patrols,<br />

groups of armed men who<br />

would monitor slaves to<br />

eradicate defiance, started<br />

in the 18th century, and<br />

Black codes, a set of unfair<br />

laws used to govern Black<br />

Americans, appeared in<br />

the 19th.<br />

Racial profiling has also<br />

affected people looking<br />

to gain U.S. citizenship.<br />

During World War II,<br />

Japanese immigrants were<br />

denied citizenship as a<br />

result of the 1941 Pearl<br />

Harbor attack. Japanese<br />

Americans were put in<br />

concentration camps.<br />

<strong>The</strong>y were targeted,<br />

even though they were<br />

American. Racial profiling<br />

led to their forced<br />

displacement.<br />

In the late ’90s, the<br />

Traffic Stops Statistics<br />

Act of 1997 was passed<br />

unanimously in the<br />

House of Representatives.<br />

According to University of<br />

Pittsburgh School of Law<br />

professor David A. Harris,<br />

it “constituted the first<br />

attempt by any legislative<br />

body to come to grips with<br />

what had become known<br />

as ‘racial profiling.’”<br />

<strong>The</strong> bill addressed the<br />

disproportionate rate at<br />

which Black and brown<br />

people would be stopped<br />

in comparison with their<br />

white peers.<br />

Drivers of color were<br />

targeted with the idea in<br />

mind that, since they were<br />

not white, they likely had<br />

drugs on their person or<br />

were involved in drugrelated<br />

crime. It was<br />

almost as if police officers<br />

were hoping to catch Black<br />

and brown individuals<br />

with illegal paraphernalia,<br />

completely disregarding<br />

the potential that white<br />

individuals may have<br />

been the ones with the<br />

contraband.<br />

Profiling will only<br />

continue to target and<br />

greatly hurt people of<br />

color, as the obvious<br />

prejudice leads to<br />

things such as unjust<br />

arrests, traffic stops,<br />

sudden questioning<br />

and/or interrogation<br />

of individuals, and, in<br />

extreme cases, severe<br />

harm or even death.<br />

In 2021, the Alabama<br />

Senate approved a bill<br />

to stop racial profiling<br />

committed by police<br />

officers. Sen. Rodger<br />

Smitherman sponsored<br />

the bill, and described<br />

it as a bill that would<br />

define racial profiling;<br />

prohibit law enforcement<br />

from engaging in such<br />

conduct; and require state,<br />

county and municipal law<br />

enforcement agencies “to<br />

adopt written policies to<br />

prohibit racial profiling.”<br />

<strong>The</strong> bill called for the<br />

immediate cessation of<br />

traffic stops that were<br />

based on “race, color,<br />

ethnicity, age, gender, or<br />

sexual orientation.” <strong>The</strong><br />

bill moved to the House of<br />

Representatives but died<br />

in committee.<br />

A year after the bill<br />

was proposed, Huntsville,<br />

Alabama, pastor Michael<br />

Jennings was approached<br />

by police officers as he<br />

watered his neighbors’<br />

flowers. He had been<br />

asked to tend to their<br />

flowers while they were<br />

away from their home. He<br />

had a hose in his hand<br />

when he was approached,<br />

and told the officers he<br />

was permitted to be on his<br />

neighbors property.<br />

However, the officers<br />

told him he “wasn’t<br />

supposed to be there,”<br />

and proceeded to arrest<br />

him. Jennings, when<br />

recounting the incident,<br />

said he believed his skin<br />

color solidified him as<br />

being “just another Black<br />

criminal who fit the<br />

description” in the eyes of<br />

the officers.<br />

In August of <strong>2023</strong>, a<br />

waitress at a South Dakota<br />

Denny’s refused to serve<br />

two Black truckers. <strong>The</strong><br />

men claimed she walked<br />

past them and continued<br />

to serve people who<br />

arrived before and after<br />

them, so they called out to<br />

her to try and order their<br />

food.<br />

She ended up calling<br />

the police after she<br />

insisted they were causing<br />

a disturbance, continually<br />

saying “you people” when<br />

referring to the men.<br />

<strong>The</strong> event prompted<br />

the NAACP to hold a<br />

conference to address the<br />

incident.<br />

CW / Shelby West<br />

Race undeniably plays<br />

a large role in the way<br />

authority figures interact<br />

with people on a day-today<br />

basis. A Black man<br />

walking down the street in<br />

a nice neighborhood will<br />

definitely turn more heads<br />

than a white man doing<br />

the same thing.<br />

Racism comes in a<br />

multitude of different<br />

forms. Some of those<br />

forms hide behind<br />

an excuse of simple<br />

“suspicion,” suspicion<br />

that was formed from<br />

harmful stereotypes that<br />

were attached to people<br />

of color. Racial profiling is<br />

just another tactic used to<br />

humiliate those affected<br />

by it.


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