This young person right here brought a huge smile to my face. She attends the Alberta School of the Arts in the City of Tuscaloosa. She is one of numerous students in the city who paid homage to the city and state’s bicentennial while telling stories concerning our shared past. When I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up, she said, “A baker and a film director.” My husband and I told her she could be both. She replied, “Wow. I can, can’t I?”
Her enthusiasm and that of other students, teachers and others who assisted in this effort was energizing as we all march to the end of the 2018-2019 school year.
One of the things I appreciated the most was seeing students, who were often dressed in period costumes dating back to the preColumbian, colonial and antebellum period through the present day, boldly addressing a difficult past in unexpected ways. For example, a white student played Autherine Lucy, the first African American to enroll at the University of Alabama. An African American student played Paul “Bear” Bryant, the legendary football coach.
The building, costume-making and technology skills of the adults who helped them were pretty amazing. Ultimately, it was good seeing the city coming together like this on the eighth anniversary of an awful tornado.
Below is a quickly made video of some of the presentations made by students from around our county.
I also enjoyed seeing some of my colleagues including Dr. Kari Frederickson who is on the state’s Bicentennial Commission, an organization that sponsored this and other events celebrating the state and city’s 200th birthdays.
This great day got even better at the retirement party for the great Lynne Adrian of the University of Alabama’s Department of American Studies. What a mentor and colleague!