Wednesday, February 2, 2022—Lee Sentell
“What Happened Here Changed the World”
Lee Sentell—a native of Ashland, Alabama and a journalism graduate of Auburn University—launched his book, The Official U. S. Civil Rights Trail: What Happened Here Changed the World on June 23, 2021. The fight for American civil rights spanned more than two decades and 15 states—and the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement is still relevant today. The Civil Rights Trail Book takes a journey through school integration, protest marches, freedom rides and sit-ins. Readers can explore historic sites from Topeka, Kansas, to Memphis, Tennessee, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Selma and Birmingham, Alabama, all the way to Washington, D.C., and see how the places on the trail can build hope for the future.
In 2004, Sentell launched the Alabama Civil Rights Trail, the first in the country. After tasking a major university to inventory civil rights landmarks open to the public, he founded the U.S. Civil Rights Trail with his fellow Southern state tourism directors. The trail features more than 120 landmarks in 15 states and Washington, D.C. His Alabama agency and the Luckie & Company advertising agency received the International Travel & Tourism Award in London for best regional destination marketing.
Sentell is among the nation’s longest serving state tourism directors, having led Alabama’s agency for nearly two decades Sentell was director of marketing at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, during the first decade of Space Camp. He served as tourism director at the Huntsville Convention & Visitors Bureau until appointed to his current state leadership position. He is past chair of Travel South USA, the nation’s largest regional tourism marketing agency, and has served on the boards of the National Council of State Tourism Directors and other organizations.
Wednesday, February 9, 2022—Wayne Flynt
“Mary Ward Brown: A Writers Life”
Perry County native Mary Ward Thomas Brown arrived late to her writing career, but once there, she gained substantial acclaim. Brown published her first short story at age thirty-eight, and success came slowly, but it did arrive. The publication of her collections, Tongues of Flame and It Wasn’t All Dancing, was gratifying, but her proudest achievement was the inclusion of one of her stories in The Human Experience, an anthology of prominent Russian and American writers. Brown’s close friend, Wayne Flynt, chronicles her life and legacy in this tribute to one of Alabama’s own literary geniuses.
Wayne Flynt has lived in and shared his lover’s quarrel with Alabama for most of his 81 years. He has lived in Sheffield, Gadsden, Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, and Auburn, and taught at Samford University for 12 years and Auburn University for 28. He also was Eudora Welty Visiting Scholar at Millsap College. His 6,000 students included 68 MA and PhD graduates. He served as president of the Alabama and Southern Historical associations, received numerous awards for his 15 books, and was elected to the Alabama Academy of Honor. His most cherished awards were the Hugo Black Award (University of Alabama), the C. Vann Woodward/John Hope Franklin Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers, and the Governor’s Award for the Arts. He was visiting professor in Hong Kong and lectured abroad in the United Kingdom, Austria, Netherlands, the Czech Republic, and the People’s Republic of China.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022—Patrick Barnett and Tina Marie
“Music and Medicine Light the Fire for Helping Others”
Patrick Barnett—a graduate of B. B. Comer High School in Sylacauga, Alabama—has made his mark at a young age as a nursing student, singer and songwriter. Patrick’s love for music started as a child singing in church, and later as a member of a band that included a few high school friends. Patrick had a life-changing awakening to the power of music to heal and inspire when he and a bandmate wrote a song, “Winding Roads” that influenced a young suicidal friend to choose to live. His natural desire to help others led him to pursue music as well as his nursing school training with equal passion.
When Patrick was sixteen years old, he entered the Kowaliga Idol singing competition as the youngest contestant to enter that Alabama version of American Idol. The once shy teen found his voice and triumphed over 119 other contestants, prompting him to consider whether music might take precedence over his medical career. Since that time, Patrick has released a debut single, “Home” with Round Room Artists of Nashville as well as a second impactful song and music video, “Shine Through” to honor Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The budding young artist continues to record and work on his first album, tentatively scheduled for release in the Spring of 2022.
Tina Marie—singer, songwriter, and recording artist— has performed tribute shows to the late great Patsy Cline over the past twelve years. Her venues for celebrating the awesome Patsy Cline legacy have included Always Patsy Cline at the Red Door Theater; Remember Patsy Cline as well as Elvis at the Millbrook Theater. Tina has sung the National Anthem at the Alabama ProRodeo for the last three years and God Bless the USA for an Atlanta Braves game. She has opened shows for the late Billy Joe Royal, Confederate Railroad, Molly Hatchet, John Conley and Mickey Gilley. Tina has been a Sitting Judge for seven years for Kowaliga Idol and for Kowaliga Country Radio.
Wednesday, February 23, 2022—Alex Colvin
“Justice Not Favor: Understanding Women’s Suffrage in Alabama”
In this presentation, Alex Colvin will examine the complex story of how Alabama women fought for (and, in some cases, against) obtaining the right to vote. In a battle that spanned almost a century, these women used various tactics—from petitions to marches to baseball games—to gain momentum for their cause. In voting-rights movements that were largely unpopular throughout the state, this story illustrates the perseverance of these women as they sought justice and equality for all Alabamians.
Alex Colvin is the public programs curator at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. She received her PhD in history from Auburn University in 2019. Her work on biculturalism in Creek society at the turn of the 19th Century won the Distinguished Dissertation Award at Auburn and the Jacquelyn Dowd Hall Award from the Southern Association of Women’s Historians. Recently, she won the Outstanding Young Alumna Award from Samford University. Beginning in 2019, Colvin worked with the Alabama Women’s Suffrage Centennial Committee to help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
Wednesday, March 2, 2022—Dolores Hydock
“Look Carefully or You’ll Miss It: Stories About Finding the Beauty in the Everyday ”
Storyteller Dolores Hydock shares two true stories, one about a chance encounter with a woman who grew philosophy as well as phlox on her little piece of earth, and one about a piece of 40-year-old fatherly advice that finally made sense.
Dolores Hydock is an actress and storyteller whose one-woman shows and stories have been featured at conferences, concerts, and special events throughout the United States, including the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee. She has been Teller-in-Residence at the International Storytelling Center in Jonesborough, has collaborated with the Birmingham Museum of Art to blend stories with special exhibits, and her Christmas story special, performed with musician Bobby Horton, airs during the holiday season on NPR-affiliate WBHM in Birmingham. Originally from Reading, Pennsylvania, home of the Reading Railroad and Luden’s Cough Drops, Dolores now lives in Irondale, just four blocks from the Whistle Stop Cafe. If the wind is just right, she can stand on her front porch and smell the aroma of fried green tomatoes.