Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2023 Black History Makers of Alabama.

The Yellowhammer State is filled with great African American leaders from the past, present, and future. We thank our West Alabama community partners, the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Delta Phi Lambda Chapter, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Eta Xi Omega Chapter for their continued support.

Black History Maker of Alabama - Michelle Cole-Barnes 

Michelle Cole Barnes was born March 1, 1971, to Willie and Helen Cole in Chicago, Illinois. At the age of nine, she moved with her family to Aliceville, Alabama from Chicago. She is a proud graduate of Aliceville High School and Shelton State Community College, where she earned her diploma in Practical Nursing and Certificate in Gerontological Services. Barnes has twenty-nine years' experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse, she later founded and managed a home for mentally challenged adults.

After taking a brief pause from nursing, she went full time into radio broadcasting. During this time, she became known as the “The Evangelist”. Her times of prayer and inspirational words of encouragement quickly become a favorite time of her radio program. She became known throughout the state of Alabama as a Gospel radio announcer on WRAG AM 590, WNPT 102.9, WWPG 1280AM.

Her love and passion for rural community health and development has allowed her to participate in the following impacting community services from Volunteer Community Educators teaching CPR/First Aid, and HIV/AIDS Prevention.

She has served as a member of West Alabama HIV Planning and Prevention and the West Alabama Correctional Health Coalition. Motivational speaker for the “Be Free, Stay Free” program at the Tutwiler State Prison for Women prison ministering to the HIV population at Tutwiler and Limestone Correctional Facility.

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She is an advocate for rural community that needs development and social change. In 2005 She joined the Rural Development Leadership Network then she attended the RDLN Leadership Development Institute held at University of California- Davis. She has been honored to be a panelist discussing rural women and rural community issues at international events at conferences and seminars such as the International Women Conference through the United Nations Commission of the Status of Women Conference annually in a parallel event with the Rural Development Leadership Network often and at the US Social Forum in 2007. She is humbled and honored to be a speaker at various conferences and seminars that transcends race, cultures, social economic status and denominations.

Black History is important to me because I realize that I am standing on the shoulders of many that have gone before me. I believe we have a responsibility to pay it forward by leaving a legacy that honors our history by pursuing our greatness in our sphere of influence. We must strengthen the family, build generational wealth and become financially literate. Most of all, Let us love and respect one another.

Preaching since the age of sixteen, Michelle Cole Barnes comes from a lineage of ministers of the Gospel. Affectionately known to many as “Prophetess Michelle.” She served faithfully as Assistant Pastor of True Vine Pentecostal Church for 18 years under Dr. Willie Cole and Dr. Helen Cole of Cole Evangelistic Ministries, Inc. In 2016, she was ordained as Pastor of True Vine Worship Center in Aliceville, Alabama. Barnes serves as Director of Community Programs for Cole Evangelistic Ministries, Inc. In 2017, Barnes celebrated her thirtieth year in ministry, she received an Honorary Doctor of Theology and Woman of Distinction Award for excellence in ministry and service to the community from Next Dimension University in Los Angeles, California. She received a Humanitarian Award from the Green County Commission in Eutaw, Alabama in December 2018. In 2020, she began a television broadcast on Kingdom Purpose TV called Prophetically Speaking and her own YouTube channel. Get ready the best is yet to come!

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2022 Black History Makers of Alabama

Black History Makers of Alabama 2021

Rising Star Character Students of the Month

During the 2022-2023 school year, Tuscaloosa City Schools, along with Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, Legal Services of Alabama and Child Abuse Prevention Services, will highlight Rising Star Character Students of the Month from each school in the district, highlighting two to three students each month.

Here's a recap of the previously recognized students!

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