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.

Sheryl Threadgill-Matthews is a Black History Maker of Alabama

"Black History is more than an account of African American achievements.  Black History is the very essence of who people of African descent are.  It embodies the greatness of a race who came to this country, against their wills; brought with them a strength, a genius, ingenuity, and creativity -contributing to the building of one of the wealthiest nations in the world. Black History is the suffering of enslaved people, but one of endurance.  It is the fierce defiance of those who refused to adhere to the laws of Jim Crow; those who built schools and educated themselves and their children; those who built wealth for themselves; and those who have beat insurmountable odds; despite it all.  Black History is a part of American History and of World History." -Sheryl Threadgill- Matthews

Matthews is a native of Camden in Wilcox County, Alabama. She is the daughter of Mildred-Locke Threadgill, who was a teacher and Reverend. Thomas Threadgill, who was a Presbyterian minister. Sheryl and her three brothers grew up in a family that advocated for educational, human, and civil rights. They were involved in both the voter and desegregation movements in Wilcox County.

In 1967 she was one of the eight students who integrated the all-white school system in Wilcox. As a teenager, she participated in marches and demonstrations to fight for the right to vote for African Americans. 

Sheryl’s father is who inspired her to pursue a career in social work. After graduating from high school, she attended Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, with a concentration in Social Work. Matthews was employed by the Wilcox County Department of Human Resources for 29 years, as a Social Worker, Quality Assurance Coordinator, and Resource Development. For nine of those years, she was on contract as a Community Development Coordinator, with a comprehensive Kellogg-funded project dedicated to community and infrastructure development. She retired from this position to devote additional time to work in the community; especially in the area of youth development. She also served as the Director of the Wilcox Area Chamber of Commerce following her retirement. 

Matthews feels that her greatest accomplishment was the co-founding of Better Activities Make All-around Kids Inc., better known as BAMA Kids, Inc. Founded in 1993 in response to the killing of a nineteen-year-old African American male, Bama Kids, Inc. is a community based non-profit youth development organization. The purpose of this organization is to provide structured positive activities for their youth. Sheryl has served as its Executive Director since its inception. She has secured millions of dollars in funding to support this effort; choosing not to accept a salary; rather ensuring the funds go directly to programming for the youth. BAMA Kids, Inc. provides academic enhancement, life skills, mentoring, leadership, and cultural arts.

She spends her days serving as a tutor and mentor at a restored warehouse. Sheryl is creative in providing unheard-of opportunities and exposure for the youth in the program. Realizing that many children in Wilcox County are deprived of such due to poverty and isolation that surrounds them; Sheryl has dedicated her life to advocating for youth and families. BAMA Kids, Inc. has impacted the lives of thousands of youth who have become productive adult citizens.

Be sure to download this radio station's free app for more details on the Black History Makers of Alabama.

Get our free mobile app

LOOK: What major laws were passed the year you were born?

Data for this list was acquired from trusted online sources and news outlets. Read on to discover what major law was passed the year you were born and learn its name, the vote count (where relevant), and its impact and significance.

LOOK: Milestones in women's history from the year you were born

Women have left marks on everything from entertainment and music to space exploration, athletics, and technology. Each passing year and new milestone makes it clear both how recent this history-making is in relation to the rest of the country, as well as how far we still need to go. The resulting timeline shows that women are constantly making history worthy of best-selling biographies and classroom textbooks; someone just needs to write about them.

Scroll through to find out when women in the U.S. and around the world won rights, the names of women who shattered the glass ceiling, and which country's women banded together to end a civil war.

KEEP READING: Scroll to see what the big headlines were the year you were born