Townsquare Media Tuscaloosa, 92.9 WTUG, Praise 93.3, 105.1 The Block, and the Tuscaloosa Thread are proud to present the 2024 Black History Makers of Alabama.

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 – Dr. Darlene F. Atkins

Darlene F. Atkins
Darlene F. Atkins

Dr. Darlene F. Atkins serves as a middle school principal and also contributes as an adjunct professor. Originally from Minter, AL, she has earned bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in Secondary Education, English Language Arts, and Educational Leadership.

Praise 93.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

Atkins is a highly experienced educator with a career spanning over 16 years in both secondary and post-secondary education. Her instructional expertise encompasses English, creative writing, and journalism at the secondary level. At the same time, she currently imparts knowledge through graduate courses focusing on instructional and educational leadership at the post-secondary level.

During her career in education, she has successfully enhanced the retention of teachers in a challenging school environment and guided a school to achieve recognition as the Alabama State School of Character and National School of Character by Character.Org.

She has earned accolades such as the Tutwiler Educator of the Year, nominee for Alabama Teacher of the Year, The University of West Alabama Distinguished Alumni of the Year, and most recently, recognition as The University of Alabama College of Education Top Alumni Under 40, showcasing her remarkable achievements and impact in the field of education.

Her deep passion and unwavering dedication lie in nurturing teenagers, young adults, and aspiring educators, reflecting her wholehearted commitment to making a difference in the lives of others. While prioritizing her current students, she also makes time to mentor the youth in her hometown, offering them opportunities and insights that extend beyond the confines of a small town.

Genuinely believing that even if she can positively impact just one person throughout her lifetime, she is confident that she has contributed something meaningful to the world at large.

Atkins is deeply involved in the community, dedicating her time and energy to being a part of the Metro-Tuscaloosa Optimist Club. This group passionately strives to uplift the youth and the community, offering hope and fostering a positive outlook for a brighter future.

She is on the board of directors for Temporary Emergency Services. This organization empowers local residents by providing essential items such as food bags, clothing, baby supplies, and personal hygiene products. In addition, she is dedicated to serving on the board of directors for The House Tuscaloosa, an organization committed to nurturing literacy in The West End Community through educational, musical, and spiritual development.

Atkins continues her service to her local community as a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Eta Xi Omega Chapter in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

“While Black History is every day, Black History Month is a time set aside to pay homage to the incredible African Americans who have contributed significantly to our society and who have had a lasting impact on life as we know it today. Learning more about Black History provides intentional opportunities for us to discover pioneers like George Crum, a cook credited for inventing the potato chip, or Marie Van Brittan Brown, who invented the first home security system. Because of them and many other incredibly exceptional African Americans, we are empowered to push beyond boundaries and shatter glass ceilings. This, to me, is why we celebrate Black History.”

Be sure to download our free app for more details on the Black History Makers of Alabama.

2023 Black History Makers of Alabama


2022 Black History Makers of Alabama

Gallery Credit: Mary K



LOOK: 28 Modern Black
History Makers & Moments


LOOK: 50 essential civil rights speeches

Many of the speakers had a lifetime commitment to human rights, but one tried to silence an activist lobbying for voting rights, before later signing off on major civil rights legislation. Several fought for freedom for more than one oppressed group.

Keep reading to discover 50 essential civil rights speeches.

Gallery Credit: Karen Johanson


LOOK: Here are the biggest HBCUs in America

More than 100 historically Black colleges and universities are designated by the U.S. Department of Education, meeting the definition of a school "established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans."

StudySoup compiled the 20 largest historically Black colleges and universities in the nation, based on 2021 data from the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics. Each HBCU on this list is a four-year institution, and the schools are ranked by the total student enrollment.

More From Praise 93.3