Civil Rights History

Preserving Stories of Faith

CT Vivian meets with three students from the Summersell Center

In the Jim Crow world of West Alabama, people of color faced crises of civil rights and faith. Working in partnership with black churches, Summersell students interview the people who struggled to gain equality and document the emergence of local civil rights movements.

Students immerse themselves in readings about the civil rights movement and meet with the men and women who led the movement in West Alabama.  Working with professional journalists, students learn how to conduct oral histories and draw up their their questions and goals for their interviews. Each student meets with a person who grew up in the Jim Crow South to record and transcribe his or her individual story. In doing so, they help create a new archive of stories about the local movement for racial equality.

Preserving Stories of Struggle and Deliverance

Civil Rights Trail map of Tuscaloosa, showing important locations throughout the city.

Summersell Director Dr. John Giggie and students from the Religion and Civil Rights course at The University of Alabama, in partnership with the Tuscaloosa Civil Rights History Task Force, have developed a 37-page Civil Rights History Trail guide for the city of Tuscaloosa.

Based partly on student research, the pamphlet chronicles the history of key events, institutions, and individuals associated with the local history of the movement.  In particular, it included the memorial to lynching victims at the old city jail, a monument that was erected due to student research in the Alabama Memory course.