Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2022 Black History Makers of Alabama supported by Sealy Furniture Outlet, Twelve25 Sports Bar & Entertainment Venue, and Red Oak Credit Union.

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.

Rachel James Harris is a Black History Maker

"Why is Black History in Alabama important? It is important because those individuals who make history never realize in the moment the impact of their actions on the larger scale. They are just people who see a need for change and do what they can to make it happen. Once we as a people begin to become aware of that concept, we can all understand that it is important to recognize the historical efforts made by our elders, while running with the baton based on a factual foundation, and then eventually pass the baton on to a generation who we have effectively equipped to continue the race. Black History in Alabama is important because we make it every day."

- Rachel James Harris

Rachael James Harris, the daughter of Rev. Dr. Lorenza James, Sr., and Deborah James, is a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and a 2002 graduate of Central High School. She graduated from the University of Alabama majoring in English and minoring in African American Studies. She later attended the University of Phoenix earning her Master's in Business Administration.

She is the recently published author of her very first novel, “Pieces of She”, and a business partner and cheerleading coach with Bama Cheer. Also, she is the Vice President of the Nu Alpha Sigma chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated.

She is an educator in the Tuscaloosa City Schools, where she teaches English Language Arts at her alma mater, Central High School. In addition, she is a co-teacher for the “History of Us” Ethnic Literature course which was first offered at Central High School in 2019 and has expanded to Bryant and Northridge High Schools.

As a part of this class, the objective is to educate students about the local history of Tuscaloosa as a way of bringing awareness and bridging generational gaps while advocating for a sense of pride in self, school, and community.

As an educator, she realizes the importance of not only knowing history for yourself but also imparting that knowledge to others, especially the younger generations. Tuscaloosa, although overlooked, is overflowing with a rich history and a large number of notable trailblazers who played instrumental roles during the Civil Rights time period, while simultaneously hosting a roster of current influential leaders who continue to institute change today.

Harris has made it her duty to immerse herself in the culture and help spread the information so that the elders will not pass away leaving a younger generation ignorant to the greats who have left their mark and continue to leave their marks on Tuscaloosa.

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