[TUSCALOOSA, ALA., April 2023] — The Spring 2023 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine highlights the Renaissance of Mobile, Alabama, from the 1920s to the 1960s. For nearly forty years, the city of Mobile experienced an artistic and cultural flourishing that encompassed visual art, architecture, literature, and, of course, carnival.
[TUSCALOOSA, ALA., January 2023] — The Winter 2023 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine remembers the “Boy from Troy,” and his legacy in Alabama, and the United States. Author B.J. Hollars talked with several people who knew Lewis, giving first-person anecdotes of Lewis’ work.
[TUSCALOOSA, ALA., July 2022] — The Summer 2022 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine features the Southern Vintage Fire Apparatus Association, and its collection of historic fire engines. Author and photographer Ken Boyd explores how fire engines evolved since the 19th century, while sharing tales of how people would combat fires throughout the South.
Alabama Heritage welcomes Caroline Gazzara-McKenzie to its team as its new marketing and digital media manager, replacing Rebecca Todd Minder who was promoted to director of the magazine. Caroline earned her bachelor's degree in sports journalism in 2016 and master's in international journalism in 2019 from The University of Alabama. She has worked for several publications, including UA's Alumni magazine; several newspapers, including The Tuscaloosa News; and most recently was a communications specialist for The University of Alabama's Strategic Communications division. As a self-proclaimed "military brat," Caroline states that she has moved more times than she can count, but each experience has left an impression. She fell in love with the state of Alabama after seeing the community come together after the April 2011 tornado during her college visit in May 2011. Caroline has lived in Tuscaloosa for 10 years and is deeply invested in learning more about the history of Alabama.
Letter to Our Readers
Alabama Heritage has faced many changes recently, with the retirement of two key team members, promotions of the three of us who remain on staff, and a physical move of our offices back to the University of Alabama’s main campus. As we step into our new roles, we are mindful of and grateful for the opportunities before us, including our treasured relationship with you. Though all three of us have worked for the magazine for many years (more than 40 years combined), we still appreciate the enormous responsibility of bringing stories of Alabama’s history to you each quarter. Every issue allows all of us to open ourselves up to new ideas, reflect on the past, and, as a result, imagine a new possible future for our state.
Winter 2022 Issue of Alabama Heritage Features Alabama Native and World Champion Box Joe Louis
Born in 1914 into a family of sharecroppers on Buckalew Mountain in Chambers County, Alabama, Joe Louis Barrow went on to become one of the world’s most celebrated boxers. Acclaimed storyteller Dot Moore looks past the gloves and reveals the storied life of a man born to a humble family, served during World War II, recalls the time the family faced the Ku Klux Klan. More than one hundred years after his birth, Chambers County commemorated its storied son by commissioning, installing, and dedicating a statue of him on the courthouse lawn.
By the time you read this letter, I will be enjoying my shady porch at old Fort McClellan, having done the unthinkable. I will have retired. My nineteen years with Alabama Heritage seem to have passed in a flash—a glorious, wonderful, valuable, unforgettable flash. But as I dig into the memories, I realize just how much has been packed into those years, and I am grateful.
The Fall 2021 issue of Alabama Heritage magazine covers the life of short-story writer Mary Ward Brown who cultivated a worldwide literary reputation from the rich soil of Alabama’s Black Belt. Born in 1917, Brown was a literary late bloomer, publishing her first story at the age of thirty-eight, and her first short-story collection, Tongues of Flame, in 1986 at age sixty-nine. Mary struggled throughout life with the racially stereotyped words of her culture, which emotionally coincided with her memory but in time were discarded as part of the nation’s racist past.
Alabama Heritage magazine has named Rebecca Todd Minder as its new director and Susan E. Reynolds as editor. Co-published by The University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the Alabama Department of Archives and History, Alabama Heritage is the state's only history magazine and has gained national recognition, receiving numerous awards for its editorial, design, and digital media since its inception in 1986. The appointments were made after the retirement of previous Editor-in-Chief Donna Baker.
After serving in the leadership role for nearly twenty years, Editor Donna Cox Baker is putting down her red pen and picking up her family tree. Baker’s retirement will go into effect September 30, 2021, after which she plans to focus more on her genealogical pursuits.
Baker joined Alabama Heritage in 2001 and brought with her a keen business focus that helped the magazine grow in a variety of areas previously untouched or underdeveloped. Under Baker’s leadership, the magazine team created a strong connection with the Alabama history community and the magazine was open to a wider range of authors, encouraging diverse topics. Baker also sought a way for Alabama Heritage to be involved in public history, including with genealogy groups. One of the greatest accomplishments for Baker was creating a digital media position to digitize previously unavailable back issues and enhance the magazine's presence to newer audiences.
Baker and husband Mac will reside in Anniston with their two affectionate cats, Priscilla and Bootz.