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.

Praise 93.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

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 - Stepfon Lewis 

Photo courtesy of Stepfon Lewis
Photo courtesy of Stepfon Lewis

Stepfon Lewis is no stranger to service to Tuscaloosa and West Alabama. Lewis's commitment to community service began early in his life and has since evolved into a transformative journey of making a positive impact.

Praise 93.3 logo
Get our free mobile app

His involvement started with annual student council representations, eventually leading to his role as an outstanding football player with the West Side Raiders. Stepfon continued to serve as a Crusader and later became the President of the youth chapter of the NAACP.

During his time at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Stepfon was elected Jr class President and received the Coaches Award for leadership as a Senior High School football player.

Transitioning into the business world, Stepfon established Step-Off Productions Inc, becoming the first Black-owned recording studio in the city. The studio evolved into a local record label, showcasing talent from Tuscaloosa.

After years in the entertainment industry, Stepfon recognized the need for increased business awareness among Black communities. He initiated the Black Tuesday campaign, urging people to intentionally support Black businesses every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month. The Buy Black T-shirt campaign further encouraged regular patronage of Black-owned businesses.

Stepfon introduced the Black to the Future series of business mixers at McKinstry Hall and founded the Urban Progressive Party, Alabama's first Black political and action party, to address the need for greater political power for the Black community.

A dedicated advocate for community well-being, Stepfon organized events like the Black Empowerment Rally, Buy Black Expo, and relief efforts for the Flint Water Crisis and Aliceville Tornado victims.

Remarkably, Stepfon became the first formerly incarcerated person in Alabama to have voting rights restored, running for public office and increasing awareness for voter rights restoration.

During his mayoral campaign, Stepfon championed the creation of a Black Business district in Tuscaloosa to generate more jobs and opportunities within local communities.

"Black History is important to me because it shows our capacity as a people to achieve great things. But also that there are many more levels we have to reach in the future and that's my aim. The future." - Stepfon Lewis 

Presently, Stepfon's focus remains on the future. Through his company, BANDZ Digital, he has developed the BANDZ Digital Portal, a digital social networking platform fostering collaboration among small businesses, entrepreneurs, and consumers—an innovative digital ecosystem for the future.

Stepfon emphasizes the importance of Black History, showcasing the capacity of the Black community to achieve greatness. He envisions reaching new levels in the future, stating, "The future is my aim."

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

Black History Makers of Alabama 2021

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