Wednesday, September 14, 2016—Elnora Spencer and Friends “Singing the Jazzy Blues”
Award-winning singer, Elnora Spencer, will open the Comer Library’s SouthFirst Bank Lecture
In 2014, Elnora was inducted as a Master Blues Artist in the Alabama Blues Hall of Fame, and in 2016, she was inducted into the Birmingham Record Collectors’ Hall of Fame. She has been featured in the Living Legends Performing Live Series at Moonlight on the Mountain in Bluff Park and has sung with the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. She will be accompanied by our own Buddy Simpkins on drums; Jeff Drew on bass; and Byron Thomas on piano. You will be transported to another time in musical history during this hour with Elnora Spencer!
Wednesday, September 21, 2016—Jerry Armor “A Home for Wayward Boys”
When reformer Elizabeth Johnston walked among the convicts in an Alabama prison mining camp, she was stunned to see teenage boys working alongside hardened criminals. She vowed to
Jerry Armor served seven years as a juvenile probation officer, two years as the psychologist in one of the state’s prisons, and taught 30 years at Calhoun Community College and Athens State University. Today, he directs the Lawrence County Children’s Policy Council and teaches part-time. He earned a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. respectively from Samford University, Troy University and the University of Alabama. He has written extensively for both academic and general interest publications. He and his wife, Judy, live in Moulton, Alabama.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016—Chris Haveman “Rivers of Sand: Creek Indian Emigration, Relocation, and Ethnic Cleansing in the American South”
At its height, the Creek Nation comprised a collection of multiethnic towns and villages stretching across large parts of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, but by the 1830s, the Creek Indians had lost much of their territories through treaties and by the unchecked intrusion of white settlers who illegally expropriated Native soil. With the Jackson administration unwilling to aid the Creeks in removing the squatters, the Creek people suffered from dispossession, starvation, and indebtedness. Beginning in 1836, nearly twenty-three thousand Creek Indians were relocated—voluntarily or involuntarily—to Indian Territory. Dr. Haveman will discuss the removal of the Creek Indians from Alabama and the difficulties that the Creeks had in resettling in Indian Territory.
Christopher Haveman—a native of Bellingham, Washington— holds degrees from Western Washington University, Marquette University, and a Ph.D. from Auburn University with a specialty in the history of Southeastern tribes. He is assistant professor of history at the University of West Alabama, and his book on Creek Indian removal—Rivers of Sand—captures the full breadth and depth of the Creeks’ collective tragedy during the marches westward, on the Creek home front, and during the first years of resettlement. Haveman’s meticulous study uses previously unexamined documents to weave narratives of resistance and survival during the American Indian removal.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016—Ed Bridges “Alabama: the Making of an American State”
Dr. Edwin C. Bridges is eminently qualified to tell the story of Alabama’s rich, difficult, and remarkable history. Dr. Bridges, the former director of the Alabama Department of Archives and History, guided the study and preservation of Alabama history for thirty years. During retirement, he has researched and written a
Dr. Bridges grew up in Bainbridge, Georgia. He graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago. He served on staff and as Assistant Director for six years at the Georgia Department of Archives and History. He was appointed as the fifth ever director of the ADAH in 1982 and is active in state archival and historical organizations. He and wife, Martha, have three daughters.
Wednesday, October 12, 2016—Roger Vines & Friends “Sylacauga NSAI Songwriters Showcase
The Sylacauga Songwriters—about a dozen individuals who meet once a month to review lessons and share new songs—not only love to write songs but also enjoy performing at restaurants, events and festivals. The chapter started about six years ago in Weogufka, but recently moved to Sylacauga for monthly meetings under co-coordinators, Frankie Lackey, Corene Lackey and Roger Vines. The group enjoys the benefits of being one of 150 chapters of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) with song evaluations by professionals, one-on-one mentoring sessions, opportunities to pitch songs to publishers, and songwriter training workshops. In addition to providing both aspiring and accomplished songwriters with support, training and recognition, the NSAI provides legislative advocacy for songwriters to assure that they are compensated for their creative works.
Roger Vines is excited about bringing several members of the Sylacauga Songwriters to the Comer Library to offer entertainment and enrichment as a part of the SouthFirst Bank’s History Your Wayseries. Vines invited Rick Haynes, Terry Robbins, Corene Lackey, Cabot Barden, and Teresa Yager to join him in presenting their own songs—Avondale Lane; Walmart Woman; Far Country; No Coincidence; The Moment Our Hearts Touched; and more. You will hear song lyrics like those that you hear on the radio, many of which have been recorded by well-known artists and performers.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016—Nancy Anderson “Harper Lee’s Legacy?”
From the time of its publication in 1960 and the award of the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, Harper Lee’s book, To Kill a Mockingbird, was recognized as one of the Great American Novels. Years later, Oprah Winfrey called the perpetual bestseller “our national novel”—paying tribute to the book as a symbol of justice, wisdom, decency, bravery
Nancy Anderson has a B.S. degree from Millsaps College and an M.A. degree from the University of Virginia. She began teaching at AUM in 1973 and has taught Southern and American literature, writing courses, and led summer teacher institutes on To Kill a Mockingbird. Anderson has publications on Zelda Fitzgerald, Richard Marius, Lella Warren, and Harper Lee. Anderson has received numerous awards for her teaching and distinguished scholarship and she is scheduled to be honored soon by the Alabama Humanities Foundation with the Wayne Greenhaw Service Award.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016—Dan J. Puckett “Adolph Hitler’s Rise to Power”
In just 12 years, Adolf Hitler pushed Europe to the brink of utter destruction and brought about the Holocaust,—one of history’s most tragic events. How did a failed Austrian artist gain control of Germany—once the heart of the European Enlightenment—and launch history’s
Dan J. Puckett is an associate professor of history at Troy University. He received his Ph.D. at Mississippi State University and is the author of In the Shadow of Hitler: Alabama’s Jews, the Second World War, and the Holocaust. Puckett is a Chancellor’s Fellow at Troy University, a member of the Alabama Holocaust Commission, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Historical Association and the Board of Trustees for the Southern Jewish Historical Society.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016—Dolores Hydock “Close Encounters of the Storytelling Kind”
Dolores has been on a twelve day trip to France which included a
Hydock, originally from Pennsylvania, is an award winning actress and story performer whose work has been featured in concerts and festivals throughout the United States. She serves as a touring artist for the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Dolores lives in Birmingham, Alabama and in her spare time, teaches Cajun and zydeco dancing.