Category Archives: African-American History

1867 Alabama Constitutional Convention

This week we are looking at an item in our digital collection that highlights African-American history, in honor of Black History Month. This item is a speech by Elisha Wolsey Peck, chairman of the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1867. The … Continue reading

A Day in the Life: August 25

Archives give us a chance to look at the world in a lot of different ways, through lenses big and small. Today, we take a cross section of life on this date, August 25, across the decades. From 1840 to … Continue reading

Autherine Lucy

Last week, the beginning of Black History month coincided with an important date in the history of the University of Alabama. On February 3, 1956, Autherine Lucy of Birmingham became the first African-American to enroll at the University of Alabama, … Continue reading

Be Thankful for the Right to Vote

“A non-voter is not a half a citizen.” — Interview with H. D. Coke, 1984 Like Coke, many of the elderly African Americans interviewed for the Working Lives Oral History Project remember the struggle to register to vote during the … Continue reading

Chronicling UA’s First Steps Toward Desegregation

Sixty years ago, the first major step was made toward desegregating the University of Alabama. Autherine Lucy, a black woman from Shiloh, Alabama, was enrolled – and a few days later suspended, eventually expelled, though she had done nothing wrong. … Continue reading

Cotton production in the 60’s

One of the major forms of agriculture in the south, cotton production shaped the lives of many. The Marjory L. Smith Slide Collection contains 71 color slides taken by Marjorie in and around Hayneville (Lowndes County) Alabama in the early … Continue reading

Documenting Black Literary Culture, 1926-1976

We recently published a new research guide called From Jim Crow to Black Power: African American History and Culture, 1877-1970 , which is designed to help researchers navigate our holdings on life during the post-Reconstruction, pre-Civil Rights era, as well as the … Continue reading

February 1956: When the Eyes of the World Were on Us

Sixty years ago, the first major step was made toward desegregating the University of Alabama. Autherine Lucy, a black woman from Shiloh, Alabama, was enrolled – and a few days later suspended, eventually expelled, though she had done nothing wrong. … Continue reading

Flashback to Emphasis ’68: Roy Wilkins

Forty five years ago this week, The University of Alabama began its second annual symposium on contemporary issues. Known as Emphasis, it ran from 1967-1971, with varying degrees of success. This week, we revisit some of its more memorable speeches and … Continue reading

Fred Shuttlesworth

On May 3, 1963, peaceful demonstrators, many of them teenagers, are beaten back in downtown Birmingham by fire hoses and police dogs.  The extreme tactics, ordered by police commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor brought international attention to Project C, the name … Continue reading